From: Jeffrey Lewin <jclewin**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Eating and Drinking in Laboratories
Date: December 3, 2012 9:08:34 AM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <14150028.1354494399986.JavaMail.root**At_Symbol_Here**>

I dug through several of my Occupational Hygiene Texts, "Prudent Practices" and a biosafety textbook. All made reference to the standard practices of not consuming food in spaces where chemicals, infectious agents, etc. are being used, but none gave a solid citation except the biohazard text; it referenced an article that showed that oral infection rates were generally low (the citation was about viruses infection and reviewed inhalation and injection as well as ingestion.

I did a number of different searches in Pub Med and this was the best I could find:

Cherrie, et al. How important is inadvertent ingestion of a hazardous substance at work? Ann Occ Hyg 206 Oct 50 (7) 693-704.

It appears this information was also edited into the following European publication:

Dealing with food in the lab issues for the last 20 years we finally made a huge stride forward when we moved to this new building 12 years ago. The difference? Every graduate student (and faculty member) is now assigned space in an office _outside_ the laboratory - including removing the need to pass through a lab space to get into an office space. Its much easier to police keeping coffee, pop and food out of lab computer workstations when they have a personal space outside the lab to consume it.

Jeff Lewin
Biological Sciences
Michigan Tech University

On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 7:26 PM, Bob Hill <roberth_hill**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
This is interesting. Dave Finster and I listed a similar incident about poisoning among lab technicians from contaminated tea in our textbook (Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students; see p. 4-15; taken from Edmonds and Bourne, Brit J Ind Med, v39, 308-9, 1982). One of the technicians used lab distilled water preserved with sodium azide.

Thanks. Bob

Robert H. Hill, Jr., Ph.D.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Samuella B Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**APPSTATE.EDU>
>Sent: Dec 2, 2012 1:34 PM
>Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Eating and Drinking in Laboratories
>The only one that I can remember in recent history is the case of the
>coffee tainted with sodium azide that happened at Harvard a few years
>back. I am not sure if the true method of contamination was ever disclosed.
>On 12/1/2012 3:15 PM, Miriam Weil wrote:
>> Does anyone know where I could find statistical (not anecdotal) data
>> on illness or injuries related to eating and drinking in laboratories?
>> --
>> Miriam W. Weil, MPH, ScD

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