Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."
We are trying to get a handle on the current norm for providing lab coats (or aprons) in 1) teaching labs, and 2) in research labs at academic institutions.
Has anyone done any benchmarking or know of any recent articles?
Some of the questions we have include:
Do you require “lab coats” in academic chemistry teaching labs?
Yes – White cotton for students. Light blue for TAs. The light blue ones happen to be FR cotton, for a variety of reasons we can discuss off line.
Do you require “aprons” in academic teaching labs?
Recommended under some circumstances.
Do you require “lab coats” in research labs?
Do you require “fire resistant (FR) lab coats” in organic research labs?
Depending on circumstances – use of pyrophoric/water reactive materials, quantities of flammable solvents, use of open flame.
Do you rent them?
Do you purchase them?
Undergrads purchase through the bookstore. Researchers purchase (with PI recharge) through on-campus veterinary medicine central stores. They have a fit-set of coats, an inventory of coats for sale, and have the ability to barcode the coats for laundry and update the PI profile. TA coats are provided by the department.
Do you have the vendor launder them?
Yes, for researcher coats.
Do you launder them yourselves?
Who pays for them?
Christopher E. Kohler, MS, LPG, CCHO
Laboratory Safety Manager, EHS
Environmental Health and Safety
1514 E Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
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