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Lab Coat Question 1


I had a question about buying lab coats. We occasionally use flammable materials in quantities >1L (e.g. to fill up smaller bottles or wash bottles). This usage is extremely rare for everyone in our lab. Do I still need to get the flame retardant lab coats for each person in the lab? Would it be alright to order everyone cotton lab coats and one additional flame retardant lab coat for everyone to use when they are working with these larger quantities instead?

Answer, 10/15/2013

This level of detail is more for the Professor to decide. The supervisor would (should) know a lot more detail about how and where the work takes place, how far apart people are, how likely it is that one person could be splashed and catch fire from the >1L even though they were not the one handling it.

If I were the supervisor and was satisfied that our group had and was following carefully a SOP for using >1L flammable liquids that was adequate to allow for cotton lab coats on everybody else and the FR lab coat on the person following the SOP, AND that a single FR lab coat was appropriate and agreeable for sharing by all of the (various sizes of) people who might use the >1L flammable SOP.... I might try it, but the problem with sharing a lab coat is what if some person who is notably smelly wears it and makes it stink, and then a different person needs it later that day or the next day?

It would be best to have one for men, one for women, at the least. I know that's a gross generalization, but generally men do smell more than women, and their clothing does also, under similar circumstances.