Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 07:06:47 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: McGrath Edward J <Edward.McGrath**At_Symbol_Here**REDCLAY.K12.DE.US>

I'm the supervisor of science for a K-12 school district in Delaware 
with five high schools.  Recognizing that my clientele represents a 
different age group from undergraduate college, allow me to share our 
policy regarding gloves and other safety equipment.
We drafted a safety policy that spells out exactly which personal 
protective devices are used in which circumstances.  This includes when 
to use vinyl gloves, goggles, lab aprons, and fume hoods.  It also 
specifies exactly what chemicals may be used and what may not be used.  
Ditto for micro-organisms (baker's yeast is all they are allowed to 
use).  When teachers order chemicals, I have to approve the order, and 
the teacher has to specify the purpose of the chemical.  They only get 
the chemical if I approve the order.
So the answer to the question, do we provide gloves, is simple.  We 
provide the gloves, but we have to approve the procedure requiring the 
gloves first.  It may seem a little Draconian, but it takes the pressure 
off the teachers and off the principals (most of the latter know little 
to nothing about science lab safety).
Edward J. McGrath
Science Supervisor
Red Clay Consolidated School District


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List on behalf of Andrew Gross
Sent: Fri 3/5/2010 11:45 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

I'm really sorry if I come across a little harsh here, and oddly 
generally the opposite stance I take; but WERE TALKING ABOUT 
STUDENTS....KIDS!!!  Let me ask you this, first its OK to handle 0.1N 
HCL fine no real dermal hazard with a quick rinse, but now the bio 
department adopts your successful policy.  Now the kid gets something on 
his hand that doesn't sting a bit...but what he really took home was a 
little ecoli they were working with, which, although harmless, ecoli likes to do and got yourself an 
outbreat.  OK, a little outlandish....but insert disaster at any could happen and chances are something bad will happen, what 
is more likely is little suzy's parents suing you for the little red 
mark left by the acid and you can use your newly saved money to settle 
with them.  You can warn them about the hazards of working no 
glove...but this is America and they will win.


On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 8:57 PM, David C. Finster 

	We make gloves available, but I personally encourage students to wear 
them only in situations where they are warranted.  In my judgment, in 
many labs the chemicals in use provide no significant skin hazard, 
especially when a quick rinse with readily-available tap water is 
possible even in instances where perhaps some dermal hazard might exist 
(for extended exposure.)  The skin is a pretty good barrier, but there 
are surely chemicals that can destroy and/or penetrate skin.  For some 
dermal hazards, the gloves that might "be routinely available" in lab 
may not provide protection, either, so unlike splash goggles that 
provide virtually all-encompassing eye protection, "gloves" might not 
protect the skin depending upon the chemical and the glove.    Wearing 
the wrong glove may be worse than wearing no glove.  And, this email 
thread is about "student labs"  where many of the most dangerous dermal 
hazards would be avoided in the first place.  (HF in general chemistry?  
I think not!)


	Also, unlike goggles, gloves are disposable, which incurs the cost that 
prompted this email thread.  I don't "discourage" glove use, but (I 
think that) some students use them more routinely than others, and 
perhaps more than necessary (perhaps related to bouts of chemophobia 
that may not be warranted).  Some students realize that gloves  become 
uncomfortable to wear after awhile.  Safety overrides comfort (as with 
some goggles, for some students), to be sure, but when there is no need 
for gloves why endure discomfort?   Gloves may or may not hinder 
manipulations; in principle they shouldn't, but inexperienced users 
don't make what others might consider "good judgment" in many 


	Finally, I recall reading (about 40 years ago) some human behavior 
study that indicated that some drivers drove faster when wearing seat 
belts (when these were new devices in cars) since they "felt safer" 
wearing the seat belt and therefore "felt safer to drive faster."  (This 
was hardly the intended effect of wearing seat belts, and I'd guess not 
a universal response for all personality types.)  But, I wonder, if some 
students won't  feel somewhat less need to be careful about spilling 
solutions or solvents when they are wearing protective gloves?  Just 
speculation; no data, not even pseudo-data like an anecdote!


	It could be argued that it is prudent to wear gloves all of the time 
(just as we mandate splash goggles all of the time) but for me, the 
arguments above about cost, comfort, lack of need in many lab 
situations, and the possibility of using the wrong glove material all 
argue for a more tempered, occasional use of gloves.   Of course, one 
idiosyncratic allergic reaction by one student out of a thousand can 
lead to universal CYA-motivated use that, in my judgment, could end up 
doing more damage than good over the long haul for the other 999+ that 
follow.  Alas.




	P.S.  Here is a list of resources that may be helpful regarding glove 

This chart is sorted by categories of chemicals.  Gloves types are 
indicated; no thickness information.

This chart has an alphabetical list of chemicals.  Gloves types are 
indicated; no thickness information.

General categories and characteristics of glove materials.

Allows users to search by either specific chemical or specific gloves.  
Extensive information provided.

Alphabetical listing of chemicals.  Several glove materials listed, with 
thickness indicated.

Information on nitrile gloves for many chemicals.

Searchable database.

PDF file with many gloves and chemical listed.

This chart has an alphabetical list of chemicals.  Gloves types are 
indicated; relatively thick gloves tested.




	David C. Finster
	Professor of Chemistry
	University Chemical Hygiene Officer
	Department of Chemistry
	Wittenberg University


	From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf 
Of Debbie M. Decker
	Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 6:53 PM 

	To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU



	We provide them in our undergraduate chemistry/biochemistry labs, amid 
some gnashing of teeth over the cost!  We do require students to 
purchase their own safety goggles.  I don't know what other 
undergraduate lab classes provide - biology, geology, etc.




	Debbie M. Decker, Campus Chemical Safety Officer
	Environmental Health and Safety
	University of California, Davis
	1 Shields Ave.
	Davis, CA  95616
	(530)754-7964/(530)752-4527 (FAX)
	Co-Conspirator to Make the World A 
	Better Place -- Visit 
  and join the conspiracy




	From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf 
Of Kennedy, Sheila
	Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 3:32 PM
	To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU


	As the staff of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Teaching Labs, we have 
been asked to propose ideas for saving money, as budgets are only 
getting tighter over the next few years. One idea proposed is that we 
stop providing gloves ad lib. to students, but have them buy & bring 
their own. We currently supply either nitrile or PVC examination (thin, 
single-use) gloves in our labs. 

	Do you provide/require gloves for student labs?



	Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
	Safety Coordinator
	Chemistry & Biochemistry Teaching Laboratories
	University of California, San Diego
	(858) 534-0221 


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