From: David Roberts <droberts**At_Symbol_Here**DEPAUW.EDU>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] lab coat question
Date: June 6, 2012 3:25:37 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <4FCFAEB1.1080508**At_Symbol_Here**>

Sorry to re-hash old issues. Can somebody please help me in thinking
about lab coats as a means of PPE? When places have a lab coat policy -
where do you get them washed (what contractors do you hire for this, or
what has to be done to generate an in house service)? What kind of
costs are we talking about here?

We are a small, undergrad only University. We take safety seriously,
but frankly, we don't do a lot of extremely dangerous things. We have
2000 students total, of which we have about 35 or so chemistry majors a
year. Of that, about 10 do research, so the numbers are small, and
faculty guidance is present. At present, we obviously do not use lab
coats because we have not figured out how to launder them. In some labs
with infectious agents, we use disposable lab coats (and we properly
manage them). But I feel in the synthetic chemistry labs, disposable
coats aren't proper (plus, they are not made of the correct material for
organic synthesis). Just as a side, we have over 65 fume hoods in our
small space. All of the students do everything in hoods - so really the
hope is that there is no need to deal with spilling. We teach them to
work behind the fume hood glass, which is very effective but not always
practical (so there are of course times when they have a potential to
have an accident and spill on themselves). We try to take that all out
of the equation, and have done a good job thus far, but nothing is perfect.

On a similar note - in the summer months, how do you specify a "minimum"
bit of lab clothing to be worn by people. If you allow shorts - do you
specify a minimum length, and with shirts, do you have any specifics on
minimum coverage?

All of this is related if you didn't guess. We have students that we
want to cover up, and so we are just looking for ways to do this properly.

Thanks for any help


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