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Chemistry

College of the Sciences

Glove and Lab Coat use in Common Areas

Glove and Lab Coat Use

 

Lab Coats

Per the Chemistry department safety policy (Section III.3.3) lab coats provide an additional barrier between chemical hazards and a person's skin. Lab coats should fit appropriately as to not create an additional hazard and should be buttoned completely.

In Teaching Labs:

Lab coats are required at all times in active teaching labs

In Research Labs:

The research lab PI is responsible for identifying when lab coats are required to be wornby lab employees. Lab coats must be readily available to anyone that steps into a
designated chemical use area within a research lab

Gloves

Chemical resistant gloves provide a barrier between chemical hazards and skin contact. Because gloves are often the only PPE in place to protect hands from chemical exposure, proper glove selection is important. Glove selection information can be obtained via Safety Data Sheets (SDS), section 8 Exposure Controls/Personal Protection or a Glove Compatability Chart such as Ansell's 7th Edition Glove Compatability Guide

Teaching Labs:

Gloves must be readily available in teaching labs. The lab instructor is responsible for identifying and conveying to students when gloves are required.

In Research Labs:

The research lab PI is responsible for identifying when gloves are required and what type of gloves are appropriate for the hazards present. Gloves must be readily available to anyone that steps into a designated chemical use area within a research lab.

 

Frequently asked questions regarding lab coats and gloves

1.  When is it acceptable to wear gloves or lab coats in the hallways?


2. Why should I remove my gloves and lab coat before exiting the lab?


3. If I don't work with any hazardous material, but I do wear gloves or a lab coat for other reasons, what is the concern?


4. What if I have to transport hazardous material, such as a rack of tubes containing hazardous chemicals or potentially infectious material, from one lab to another?


5. Do I need special equipment or carts to move hazardous material through the hallway?


6. I have seen people wearing lab coats and glovesand then using the restrooms or pressing the buttons for the elevator. What should I do?


 

1.  When is it acceptable to wear gloves or lab coats in the hallways?


The use of gloves and lab coats in the hallways is never acceptable.

2. Why should I remove my gloves and lab coat before exiting the lab?


 It is standard good chemical hygiene practice to remove all personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and lab coats, prior to exiting the laboratory. This prevents any possible contamination of "clean" areas such as restrooms, elevators, offices, and cafeterias. It is critical to remove all personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and lab coats, when leaving areas where any hazardous materials, which may have contaminated the PPE, are in use. This includes hazardous chemicals, radiation, nanoparticles or other potentially hazardous materials.

3. If I don't work with any hazardous material, but I do wear gloves or a lab coat for other reasons, what is the concern?


When you are seen wearing gloves or a lab coat in the hallway, the general public perception is that you have been handling something that is possibly harmful to humans. Furthermore, if you have been working with or handling potentially harmful materials, your gloves or lab coat may be contaminated and you may not even know it!

4. What if I have to transport hazardous material, such as a rack of tubes containing hazardous or infectious material, from one lab to another?


The recommended method of transporting hazardous material between lab areas in the Chemistry department is to utilize effective secondary containment. Secondary containment must be plastic, securely sealed, and chemically resistant type containers. This method allows your hands to be free from exposure to any hazardous material, thus eliminating your need to wear gloves or lab coat. Transporting chemicals in this manner also minimizes spills and breakage.

5. Do I need special equipment or carts to move hazardous material through the hallway?


When transportation by hand is not feasible, the equipment used to transport hazardous material within the corridors should be sturdy and uncontaminated. The lab carts should have an upper lip to minimize accidental tip-over during transport. Clean, absorbent pads should also be placed on the horizontal surface to help absorb any accidental spills during transport. Absorbent material for transport can be proved by the department safety officer.

6. I have seen people wearing lab coats and glovesand then using the restrooms or pressing the buttons for the elevator. What should I do?

If you witness anyone in the hallway wearing gloves or lab coats, please refer them to this webpage or contact the Chemistry department Safety Officer at 963-1307.

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