One problem with lab coats that has not been addressed is the bulkiness of the sleeves. Coats with elastic wrist bands help, but there is still a lot of material that can be dragged through a flame or knock over a flask. I also always wonder about the determination that a lab coat has been contaminated with "hazardous materials". Who makes the decision and what is it really based on. Does the amount of material come into play, etc.? We require lab aprons, but the student can wear a lab coat instead, if they wish. Few do.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Stuart, Ralph
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 9:48 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Lab Coats In Teaching Labs and Research Labs at Academic Institutions
>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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