From: "Vivian L. Longacre" <vlongacr**At_Symbol_Here**CALPOLY.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] distributing used lab coat
Date: February 26, 2013 3:29:50 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <731700108A7439498BE12EC6F8A2585A7DEE601D**At_Symbol_Here**>

We are just discussing this issue.  I would also be interested in what others are doing.

Background: we are a mostly, undergraduate, polytechnic, teaching college with students doing research as part of their senior project.  We used to supply lab coats to faculty if they so desired, but it was up to them to launder them.  Technical staff have been supplied with lab coats for the past 18+ years I have been here, and in the last 5 years we did not recommend staff washing their own lab coats. We currently take them to a dry cleaner where they are laundered.  With the UCLA agreements and seeing what other universities are doing, we now feel it is our duty to supply clean lab coats to faculty and our research students.  We have stated it is our departmental policy that lab coats will be cleaned by the university.   Faculty, staff and students can exchange a dirty lab coat for a clean one at any time.  We figure that they will be exchanged by research students and faculty about every 2-3 months during the school year. They are all taught that only very minor splashes are acceptable to be laundered and anything more than that is to be treated by us as hazardous waste and we will issue another lab coat.

Now we need to decide how to cover students in the lab and how to address the cleaning of the coats in the future.  What is our duty to students in the lab when their professor requires a lab coat?  We want to teach them the right way to do things; which includes not laundering your coats at home but the cost will get out of hand.  Fortunately, we are in the unique position of being in the final stages of construction of a new building.  One of our technical staff came up with the idea of installing a washer and dryer dedicated to dirty lab coats.  We figured a student assistant would be able to keep the laundry done. Our EH&S approves, as long as training is in place concerning when a lab coat is hazardous waste and when it is to be laundered, and the washer and dryer are solely dedicated to lab coat washing.  We have also looked into commercial linen service.  The cost per lab coat quoted was about $2.50 each and they supply the coats.   We are due to make a decision on how to proceed in the next few weeks.

One more thing, our students in the undergrad lower division labs have plastic splash aprons they wear when dealing with dilute acids, bases and metal salt solutions that may be corrosive.  Our dilemma is for the the majors organic labs (1 year sequence), and some of the upper division labs.

Vivian Longacre
Cal Poly State University
San Luis Obispo, CA

From: "Wayne Phan" <Wayne.Phan**At_Symbol_Here**POMONA.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 11:04:36 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] distributing used lab coat


What is everyone opinion on distributing used lab coat to other students to use?  What are your policy?





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Vivian Longacre
Instructional Support Technician
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Cal Poly State University
San Luis Obispo, CA

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