October 7, 2021
2021 National Biosafety Month: Wear a Lab Coat to Protect Yourself
October is National Biosafety Month, a time to focus on your lab’s biosafety policies and procedures. This year, EH&S would like labs to focus on the importance of wearing lab coats. Lab coats are an important barrier between your skin or clothes and any hazards that you work with in the lab. Not only do lab coats protect you from exposure, they also help prevent you from transporting laboratory contamination home to your family, friends and pets.
Wear lab coats when handling biohazards, chemicals and radiological hazards. You may need to wear a different type of lab coat or gown when working with animals or at a biosafety level higher than BSL-2.
Remember to wear a lab coat in addition to appropriate laboratory clothing – long pants or skirts that cover the legs and closed-toe shoes that cover the feet. The newest version of the UW Biosafety Manual will be released soon and will include a requirement to wear lab coats at all biosafety levels, including biosafety level 1 (BSL-1). The manual updates are based on the latest edition of the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).
Read the full article in the EH&S Newsletter!