From: Jeffrey Lewin <jclewin**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Water bottles in labs
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:56:28 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAEwQnqh4oREq=V+7X5BZh5bfuU8gnGc2Vg-M=hKS5-GqM8Xgnw**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <002a01d1a18b$10a770f0$31f652d0$**At_Symbol_Here**>

We've been struggling with bottles in the lab (in our case microbiology). The bottles (and sometimes the backpacks themselves) end up in piles in the hallway.

I also think bottles, and especially backpacks, in the hallway are not the solution: trip hazards and theft are two concerns, but my biggest one is someone adulterating an unattended bottle with poisons or drugs. We are strongly considering installing lockers in the hallway (we've run that past facilities and EHS) for this laboratory.

For those of you that prohibit bottles in the lab I'd like to hear your arguments for not allowing sealed bottles in (or attached) to a backpack given the length of time the backpacks are in the room (assuming that backpacks are allowed in the lab). If you do prohibit them, do you also prohibit food inside the backpacks as well?

All other lab hygiene rules would be followed (no accessing water or food inside the lab, washing and decontaminating hands prior to handling backpacks, bottles are not to be brought to the bench, etc.). Essentially does simply carrying in closed containers , that never get near the lab bench, violate the spirit of the "no food or drink in the lab?"


On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 4:18 PM, Laurence Doemeny <ldoemeny**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

I think simply placing a table outside the laboratory in a hallway may not be a well thought out decision and could be creating a more dangerous situation.

The hallway is most likely part of an evacuation route and obstructing the route is a code violation.

Conclusion eating and drinking in any form in a laboratory is not allowed and check with EH&S or facilities engineering before placing objects in the hallways.

Laurence Doemeny

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Donald Abramowitz
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 2:47 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Water bottles in labs

This is a well hydrated generation. We have a small table in the hall outside one lab that works well ( and serves as a friendly reminder) that I like better than the row of bottles lined up outside other labs like so many bowling pins. I think students can get the hang of it if you can get the instructors to apply the rule consistently.

On Apr 27, 2016, at 1:33 PM, Debbie M. Decker <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS..EDU> wrote:

Students are well-trained at the beginning of every quarter to leave water, coffee, sports bottles, lunches, outside of lab. At the beginning of the quarter, TA's are vigilant about standing at the door as a reminder and the point gets across pretty quickly. There's always a small cache of water bottles, etc. outside the lab room. That seems to help as a visual reminder, too. Doors remain closed during lab.

Good luck - it's a tough habit to break.


Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow

Immediate Past 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."

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Water bottles in labs

We are seeing a problem with students walking into the lab holding their water bottles and it is not practical for the instructor to stand at the door as they arrive because our labs run one right after the other and we rarely close the door. At the beginning of the term during the safety presentation they are told to put them away before entering the lab but they either forget or ignore it. We already have so many signs in our labs, hallways, etc that no one pays any attention to them so I'm reluctant to add another one. Could you share what you do at your institution?

Debbie Reeder

Chemistry Lab Manager

Anne Arundel Community College

101 College Parkway

Arnold, MD 21012



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Jeff Lewin
Departmental Laboratory Supervisor
Biological Sciences
Michigan Technological University

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