From: Samuella Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] [External] Re: [DCHAS-L] How would you answer this student question?
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2021 09:12:32 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: 75d7310b-3fdf-e955-8b85-2c4ac887f385**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <0188F025-5AD1-4D27-A529-112628FE676F**At_Symbol_Here**>

I decided when we worked out our hybrid plan last semester that it was not a good idea for students (and faculty) to wear their personal cloth (or disposable) masks in lab due to the possibility of contamination. I was worried that if a student got chemicals on the mask through some transfer from their hands and then kept wearing it after they left, they would be breathing the contamination.

So, we require and provide a new disposable mask for students (and faculty) in the labs to wear and dispose of before leaving. After washing their hands, they should put on their personal mask.

It may seem as overboard, but since the university was willing to pay for it, we are doing it.

On 8/19/2021 9:01 AM, Ralph Stuart wrote:
Are reusable masks okay in lab or only disposable ones because of chemical contaminants?
I??m not sure if you are thinking in terms of cloth or paper masks, but I would recommend that any masks that have been splashed on be replaced immediately. Cloth masks present similar challenges as other clothing worn in the lab. Paper masks are not likely to retain fumes, but also wear out fairly quickly. For that reason, new paper masks each class make sense to me.

Good luck to us all!

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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Non-Tenure Track Faculty ?? Qualified to cook the meals and wash the dishes, but not eat at the table.

Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO

Fellow & 2019 Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom


Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**

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