Here is a question regarding lab coat laundering service: In the absence of lab coats, what happens? Answer: Students wear their street clothes in lab, wear them home (and maybe to lunch/supper on the way), wear them all day/evening, and simply wash them along with their "regular" laundry. And nobody contests this. So, there would be no actual difference if each student takes their lab coat home *every week* and launders it with their regular laundry, with the exception of two significant points:
1) the students' bodies (and street clothes) would be better protected by the extra layer of a lab coat;
2) cross contaminate of the world outside the laboratory is less likely because students (should be directed to) take off the lab coat when lab is over and put it in a plastic bag until it goes in the laundry.
Thus, I humbly offer there is no rigorous basis for requiring an institution to provide lab coat laundry service for routine undergraduate labs, or for not requiring use of lab coats as long as the lab rules specify that students wash their lab coats each week, or more often if needed. Not allowing lab coat storage on the premises would facilitate the policy. Of course, as always, if a given person is working with substances or procedures with particularly high risk of contamination, other precautions are required, but that is part of the risk assessment. Yes to all?
St. Ambrose University
"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu
Kathy,Could the department purchase lab coats and loan them to the students for the semester? I like the idea of lab coats in lab, but some students just could not afford them.Barb GoreCONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This message, including any attachment(s), is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivery of the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the Technical Assistance Center immediately by telephone at 630-466-4357 and then delete the message from your system. Thank you.>>> Katherine Wall <kwall**At_Symbol_Here**WAUBONSEE.EDU> 6/7/2012 8:48 AM >>>
The chemistry doesn't change with the seasons. I tell students to pack a bag with appropriate clothes and shoes for lab. We are a community college and I can't get past the instructors to require lab coats, but long pants and closed toe and heel shoes are a must. We will have the occasional girl with an inappropriate top. Either I or the instructor will go to her and quietly tell her it is inappropriate for lab. See if you can't require lab coats. I wish I could!
Chemistry Lab Coordinator
Chemistry Adjunct Instructor
SCI 204, 630-466-2347
Waubonsee Community College
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>>> David Roberts <droberts**At_Symbol_Here**DEPAUW.EDU> 6/6/2012 2:25 PM >>>
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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