Removing gloves and other protective equipment
Oct15

Removing gloves and other protective equipment

One of the things highlighted in the news this week is the risks of contamination from removing—”doffing”—personal protective equipment. “Meticulous removal, or doffing, of PPE is as important as its meticulous donning,” wrote infectious disease physician Amesh A. Adalja in “Ebola Lessons We Need To Learn From Dallas.” Most chemists don’t need to fear Ebola, but they do wear PPE to protect from chemical exposure. I asked...

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UC expands its lab safety program
Aug29

UC expands its lab safety program

In this week’s issue of C&EN, I have a story on how the University of California is implementing and expanding upon the lab safety settlement agreement that UC made with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office last summer. In short, UC is taking the legal mandates for chemistry and biochemistry departments and expanding them to all research and teaching laboratories as well as to technical areas such as store...

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Enhancing eye protection and livening lab coats
Jan16

Enhancing eye protection and livening lab coats

Paul Bracher posted yesterday at Chembark about trying to make eye protection more appealing to young scientists: I thought we needed to do a better job of making eye protection cool/fun, so first, we ordered them some safety glasses like “real scientists” wear (for general use) in lab. I bought three varieties of glasses from my favorite safety company. Each pair was only about $2—well worth the investment. At the next club meeting,...

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Gloves in the laboratory: To wear or not to wear?
Sep12

Gloves in the laboratory: To wear or not to wear?

Andrea Sella, a chemistry professor at University College London, has this to say about reusable glove use in the laboratory: The consequences of using reusables is substantial. First of all, they are moderately comfortable so people wear them continuously – this leads to students wandering all over the place while wearing them – out students use them on the lab computers and spectrometers, the scales and so on, contaminating pretty...

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Safe science garb: Lab coats
Sep30

Safe science garb: Lab coats

A guest post by my C&EN colleague and sewing aficionado Cheryl Hogue. As Halloween approaches, demand certainly must rise for lab coats. They are essential for portraying everyone from Beaker of “Sesame Street” to characters from “Grey’s Anatomy.” Nothing says “scientist” like a lab coat. Of course, lab coats are also required gear in many (most? all?) chemistry labs. What makes for a good lab coat? ChemBark’s recent blog...

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Eyes in the lab
Jun24

Eyes in the lab

One thing that made a big impression on me recently was a poster depicting how well different forms of eye protection work when your head is splashed. Along the lines of “a picture is worth a thousand words,” the pictures clearly show that goggles are the hands-down best choice when it comes to working with liquids. Had I seen it when I was a student, that poster would have done a lot to get me to wear goggles rather than...

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