We're a business with 60 or 70 people that enter the labs, so I realize things are slightly different for us. Each labworker has 2 labcoats and the uniform company picks up laundry every week. There are other specialized labcoats that we use too, so a worker may have 4 labcoats.
We use Aramark for our labcoats, but were impressed with Cintas too. Aramark gave us a better bid. There are other companies that provide labcoats. These same places also will sell labcoats. If you rent labcoats, they take care of the cleaning. I think you could work out a cleaning plan with the provider even if you purchased them.
They are, of course, not set up to clean majorly contaminated labcoats with toxic, highly toxic, or radioactive materials, but those should be disposed of with their respective waste.
If you don't mind getting a sales pitch, I would say to contact some local uniform companies. The price will depend the quality of the labcoats, how often they're picked up, and, of course, if you purchase or rent.
For the clothing, we require closed toe shoes, full length pants or a dress long enough to cover the legs. We do provide scrubs (rented from Aramark), for those who didn't think they would have to go into the lab. The scrubs serve as a backup if people do get something on their clothes too. I'm not thrilled about their chemical resistance, but they are better than shorts.
Brady P. Arnold
phone (913) 227-7143
fax (913) 227-7199
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of David Roberts
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:26 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] lab coat question
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
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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