PPE and COVID-19: Seriously, Is It That Hard to Wear a Mask?

PPE and COVID-19: Seriously, Is It That Hard to Wear a Mask?

In every lab, there are some people who just don't want to wear PPE. You’ve heard it before: “It takes too long.” “I can’t work with that stuff on.” The Laboratory Safety Institute decided to compile a list of these objections, from the common: “We’ve never had an...

COVID-19 Precautions—Have We Gone Too Far?

COVID-19 Precautions—Have We Gone Too Far?

Someone is coming up the stairs toward me. Even though we’re both wearing masks, I hold my breath, do-si-do sideways and squeeze past him while being careful to avoid contact with the railing. Am I a little paranoid? Perhaps. Or maybe COVID-19 is pushing us all closer...

Blind Spots: Hiding in Plain Sight in Your Lab

Blind Spots: Hiding in Plain Sight in Your Lab

No matter how good a detective you are, there are some things you simply can't see (with the unaided eye), such as: Bacteria Your forehead Your chin (unless you're this guy) Actually, life is full of blind spots, once you start looking for them. For starters, everyone...

Kids, Don’t Try This: Practicing Safe Science at Home

Kids, Don’t Try This: Practicing Safe Science at Home

As COVID-19 forces many science classes into the home, teachers and parents are left wondering, "How safe are home science experiments?" For three families in Bethesda, Maryland, the answer to that question, tragically, was "not safe enough." One year on New Year's...

Lab Safety: Terrifying Statistics

Lab Safety: Terrifying Statistics

In the November 18 issue of the journal Nature, husband and wife team Dana Ménard and John Trant paint a troubling picture of lab safety in academia today. Despite advances in scientific knowledge, the article reveals, the level of safety in academic laboratories...

1922 Lab Explosion with Clues for Today

1922 Lab Explosion with Clues for Today

“The funeral of William Eastman Spandow . . . will be held in the Chapel at 11 o'clock this morning.” This was the introduction of the obituary given by the Columbia Spectator in 1922 on the unusual death of a 24-year-old chemist. The obituary describes a shocking...

What are the rules of lab safety?

What are the rules of lab safety?

Labs vary from place to place and even within the same academic institution or industry. A high school science lab has different requirements from a commercial testing lab. This variety can make it difficult to come up with a standardized set of rules. While there is...

Lab Safety Posters in the Bathroom?

Lab Safety Posters in the Bathroom?

You have some great lab safety posters laminated and mounted strategically around the lab. Great! Problem is, after a few months, people get used to seeing them and don't notice them anymore. Your shiny new posters might as well be wallpaper. Here's an idea you may...