From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Use of fire resistant lab coat
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:44:48 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 8D170E8A0B08588-2308-3F7F**At_Symbol_Here**

That makes sense to me.  In theater, all the curtains must be fire rated and have certificates on file.  There are two types of curtains you can buy, those that have been treated, which means they have date on which they must be retreated, and curtains made of fabrics that are inherently fire-retardant.  In the long run, the second type are the cheapest.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: Debbie M. Decker <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Sent: Fri, Jul 18, 2014 1:36 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Use of fire resistant lab coat

The Nomex fabric is intrinsically fire resistant - it isn't an applied coating.  
For the 100% cotton fire resistant coats we're using in teaching - the textile 
thread itself is treated but the garment isn't treated once manufactured.

We require undergraduates to purchase 100% cotton lab coats to be worn in the 
teaching labs.  It was difficult to pick out our Teaching Assistants in the sea 
of white lab coats and they requested a different color coat.  The only 100% 
cotton coat available in a color (light blue) was flame retardant.  They've been 
happily wearing them for a year.

There is a time and place to wear an FR coat and that's working with 
pyrophoric/water reactive materials or high volumes of flammable solvents in the 
presence of an ignition source.  FR coats are not appropriate to be worn when 
working with corrosives or biological materials.  You could also make a case, I 
think, that if use of pyrophoric/water reactive materials occurs in a glove box, 
the glove box is the engineering control and additional PPE isn't indicated..

We've also found the durability of a Nomex lab coat leaves something to be 

It's important to wear the proper PPE to mitigate the hazards for the task at 
hand.  Blanket requirements without regard to actual hazards serves no purpose 
and undermines our credibility as health and safety professionals.

"Just wrapping people up in a lab coat doesn't automatically make them safe.."

Debbie M. Decker, CCHO
Safety Manager
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Davis
122 Chemistry
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA  95616

Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction 
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions, 
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ken 
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Use of fire resistant lab coat

Some have concerns regarding the health impacts of some of the chemicals used to 
provide the fire resistance.


On Jul 18, 2014, at 12:23 PM, Ralph B. Stuart <ralph.stuart**At_Symbol_Here**CORNELL.EDU> wrote:

> A question I'm wondering about as we as a professional community consider the 
aftermath of the UCLA lab fire and its legal follow up is whether there is a 
reason beyond finances to not use fire resistant lab coats in the lab setting. I 
recognize that both the initial and maintenance costs associated with fire 
resistant coats are significantly higher than alternatives, but I wonder if 
there are other disadvantages associated with their use.
> Thanks for any information about this.
> - Ralph
> Ralph Stuart, CIH CCHO
> Chemical Hygiene Officer
> Department of Environmental Health and Safety Cornell University 
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**

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