From: Allen Niemi <anniemi**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Lab coats & nano safety
Date: July 19, 2012 4:22:09 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <OFFBB5F1E8.392257B8-ON85257A40.0062AE18-85257A40.00639D04**At_Symbol_Here**>

I believe that they want non-woven or impervious materials because, like asbestos fibers, the particles can become entrained in the weave and are not readily removable by washing, rinsing, etc. The particles will also tend to work their way through to your street clothing underneath. Some impervious materials have a woven backing but a fully impervious/waterproof coating on the outside. I also believe that they intend this to apply to solutions containing nanomaterials as well as the powders themselves, because the solvent will dry off leaving dry particles behind. Why just a lab coat rather than a full suit? They should be handling the materials with considerable care to begin with. You might get some on your lab coat or shoes but it should not be wafting around in the air or splattering onto everything in sight. My guess is that they (NIOSH) intend the disposable coats to leave the lab in a sealed container of some kind and disposed - again like asbestos. I honestly do not know what kind of decontamination process they have in mind or what might be effective. I think I would rather use disposable coats and shoe covers than deal with decon.


On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM, <kauletta**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I'm still working on the lab coat issue!

I'm reviewing the NIOSH doc 2012-147 for Nano S&H ( and it has 2 specific references to lab coats (1st time I've seen anything so specfic!):

Impervious laboratory coats (noncotton). (If nondisposable laboratory coats are used, they should remain in the laboratory/change-out area to prevent nanoparticles from being transported into common areas).

At a minimum, for all laboratory activities, wear impervious (non-woven) laboratory coats (or coveralls, or a work uniform that covers the arms); long pants without cuffs: a long-sleeved shirt; closed-toe shoes made of a low-permeability material, or disposable foot covers; eye protection; and appropriate chemical-resistant gloves (depending on the chemical exposure).

My questions:
1. Does this only refer to work with nanomaterial powder? vs liquid/solvent solution?
2. What material is "non-woven"? Aren't the polyblends are woven to some degree?
3. If the lab coat is supposed to be "non-woven", why not the coveralls or work uniform?
4. What S&H benefit does "non-woven" provide?
5. "Impervious" to what?
6. Can "disposable" lab coats be taken out of the lab area? How come only "nondisposable" coats must remain in the lab?

Thanks for your insights!

Kim Gates Auletta
Lab Safety Specialist
EH&S Z=6200
Stony Brook University
NOTE!! New email system on campus! kim.auletta**At_Symbol_Here**
FAX: 631-632-9683
EH&S Web site:

Remember to wash your hands!

Allen Niemi, PhD
Occupational Safety and Health Services
Room 322 Lakeshore Center
Michigan Technological University
Phone: 906-487-2118
Fax: 906-487-3048

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