Difficult as it may be, you want to keep everything but lab materials out of lab. We don’t allow backpacks, etc., in the workspace, but one time a TA was not vigilant and a student had his bag with him in Organic Lab. Later that day the student went to the emergency room ill, and claimed something spilled into his backpack during lab. It turned out to be NOT what was wrong with the student, but why set yourself up for a conversation with the e.r. and some unhappy parents?
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep undergraduates from using their electronic devices in the teaching lab. We disclaim that any damage is not the responsibility of the institution.
Here’s the question: What if something hazardous is spilled on the device and it can’t be decontaminated? Does the device become hazardous waste at that point? What if the owner isn’t willing to give up the device for disposal?
This scenario hasn’t presented itself – yet!
Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Davis
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."
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