Lab-safe, professional shoes for women
Jan29

Lab-safe, professional shoes for women

A query from chemistry reddit: Good lab shoes? I'm about to enter the corporate world but was having trouble finding women's shoes both safe and professional. Do you know of any good brands or styles? I'd prefer low or no heel. Sanita or Dansko (closed-back) clogs are the main suggestions given. Anyone have other...

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A radiation dosimeter to go on your hands
Jan13

A radiation dosimeter to go on your hands

I've seen radiation badges before, but never a ring. Courtesy of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Facebook page: This type of ring is a small badge that workers wear under gloves to monitor external exposure to ‪#‎radiation‬ as they work with different types of radioactive sources. The little diamond shape on the ring is worn facing the palm, as this is the area where highest exposure usually occurs. This ring is just one of many different types of radiation exposure monitoring badges. Badges like these are designed to help protect workers, contributing to safe and secure radiological conditions in the workplace, including regulating and limiting how much radiation exposure a person gets over time as well as to make sure that they stay within certain thresholds. The ‪#‎IAEA‬ helps to support countries in implementing the use of these handy devices in...

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Gloves for handling pyrophoric reagents
Dec10

Gloves for handling pyrophoric reagents

For readers who handle pyrophoric reagents, how do you balance hand dexterity vs protection? I've heard either nitrile under Nomex (in the form of Blackhawk Aviator gloves) or Nomex under neoprene. Other suggestions?

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Consequences of poor glove choice
Nov25

Consequences of poor glove choice

Via C&EN's Chemistry in Pictures, shown here is what happened when "dichloromethane carried 3,4-ethylenedioxypyrrole through a researcher’s nitrile gloves. The compound polymerized onto the person’s fingers, forming poly-3,4-ethylenedioxypyrrole, a blue-black conductive polymer of unknown toxicity." Check a glove compatibility chart before you experiment! The photo was taken by Kristof Hegedüs of...

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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 Iowa State University lab safety specialist Ryan Wyllie and biosafety specialist Amy Helgerson what chemistry researchers should keep in mind when removing their PPE. Gloves “You don’t ever want to have bare skin touching the contaminated parts of the glove,” Helgerson says. Remove the first one by grasping the material between the hand and the cuff, then pull it off while turning it inside out. Remove the second by using a bare finger to reach underneath the other glove and then pull it off, again so that it turns inside out. Then, wash your hands to remove any breakthrough or doffing contamination. Lab coats Generally, undo the coat and then pull it off one sleeve at a time, reaching for the inside to avoid contaminating your hands. “If the lab coat is grossly contaminated, then you would want to turn it inside out and put it in the proper receptacle for laundering or disposal,” Wyllie says. For a grossly contaminated coat, you might also want to wear gloves while removing it. Again, wash your hands when you’re done. Ideally, individual lab coats should be hung on individual hooks, so the outside of one doesn’t contaminate the inside of another. Eye protection “In most cases, eye protection should be the least contaminated thing that you have on,” Helgerson says, and they should stay on until the moment you leave the lab. It’s usually safe just to take them off. If they are contaminated, then you probably need to worry less about how to safely remove them and more about why you’re not already under the shower. Other things to consider First, make sure you’re wearing the correct PPE. For gloves in particular, check a safety data sheet and a compatibility chart to make sure you’re using the correct protection for the chemical hazard. Also, watch what you touch with your gloves on. Don’t push your eye protection up on the bridge of your nose; don’t use a keyboard that you or others use...

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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 and stock rooms. Go read the story for details. Included with the story is a list of links to things such as UC's new online "Laboratory Safety Fundamentals" training program, UCLA's personal protective equipment (PPE) inspection checklist, and the system's new policies on training, PPE, and minors in labs. As part of reporting on the story, I went through the safety fundamentals training and scored 19/20 on the test at the end. If readers are inclined to do the same, be warned that it will take about three hours, at least if you click through the various bits to get additional information. UC also purchased personal protective equipment for researchers, including 115,000 lab coats. Part of that purchase involved special-ordering flame-resistant, NFPA 2112-rated lab coats from Workrite in small sizes tailored for women. I don't see them available now on the company's website, but clearly it at least has patterns. I don't know whether Workrite is willing to make more, but it's probably worth a call if you're looking for...

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