>My initial thinking on the this is most lower division chemistry courses do not use particularly hazardous chemicals and the coat or apron is protection against splashes. In that case an apron seems suitable for the job and would wipe down and store much easier. Lab coats may not store in the lab locker as easily and may get further contaminated.
Another aspect of this for the lower division chemistry classes is that there are many more people taking these courses and trying to fit lab coats for the wide variety of body shapes associated with this larger group can be a significant challenge. Aprons seem easier to manage in this regard as well...
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College
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