Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 10:04:38 -0800
Reply-To: Jim Kapin <jim**At_Symbol_Here**CHEMICAL-SAFETY.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Jim Kapin <jim**At_Symbol_Here**CHEMICAL-SAFETY.COM>
Subject: Re: Cell phones in lab
Comments: To: Sheila Kennedy
In-Reply-To: <456DBB51.901**At_Symbol_Here**>
I guess phones, PDAs, etc. could be a source of personal contamination, but
it seems to me the same precautions we take for ourselves (gloves, labcoat,
etc.) work for our stuff.  Basic hygiene (remove gloves, wash hands, don't
leave phone in BSC/ fume hood) should control risk of exposure pretty

On the other hand, what about the issue of divided attention?  If you are at
the bench and talking on the phone are you paying sufficient attention to
whatever you are doing?

James Kapin, MPH, CIH, REA
Advanced Chemical Safety
858-874-5577 Cell 619-990-5955

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of
Sheila Kennedy
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 8:55 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Cell phones in lab
Importance: Low

I don't have any answers or help for most of this, but a question about 
your wording. Doesn't it rule out using the cell phone to summon 
emergency assistance? Do you want to do that?

Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
Safety Coordinator
Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. #0303
La Jolla, CA  92093-0303
(858) 534-0221 

Matt Heinrich wrote:
> 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
> list.
> 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
> heinma**At_Symbol_Here**

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