Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 18:05:14 -0800
Reply-To: Matt Heinrich <heinma**At_Symbol_Here**WWC.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Matt Heinrich <heinma**At_Symbol_Here**WWC.EDU>
Subject: Cell phones in lab
In-Reply-To: <DCHAS-L%200607250000022399.1338**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Please excuse the cross-posting.  My searches of the CSHEMA-L, DCHAS-L
and SAFETY list archives didn't produce any answers, so I appeal to the
My Chemical Management Committee is going to look at the question of
cell phones in academic and research labs, at the request of one of our
professors.  His primary concern is the cell phone as a vector for
contamination.  I think the committee will agree that cell phones should
be banned from labs for hygiene reasons, but I am wondering about a
couple of things:
1)  If your institution has addressed this issue, was it a campus-wide
policy decision, or dealt with on a building-by-building or lab-by-lab
approach?  What do you see as the pros and cons of those choices?
2)  Have you addressed cell phones as a hazard outside of chemical or
biological labs?  I'm thinking of high-risk activities (aside from
driving) where the reflex to answer the phone could present an
additional hazard.
3)  What do you think about including personal music players in the
same policy?  One could make similar arguments against them on the basis
of chemical hygiene and distraction risks.  I could see this being a
point of contention in research labs.
4)  Do you have specific policy statements or wording that you could
share with me?  My Google searches turned up a few lab safety agreement
hits, but not many CHP or policy hits.  I'm thinking about suggesting
"Cellular telephones are not to be used in the laboratory at any time or
for any purpose," as a starting point.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Matt Heinrich
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Radiation Safety Officer
Walla Walla College
Ph. 509-527-2148
Fax  509-527-2249

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