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Lab Sanitation and Safety

Eye Protection


  • Must meet ANSI Standard 87.1-2003
    • Certification will be marked on glasses
  • Chemical Goggles are Recommended
  • Safety Glasses with Side Protection
    • May been used if chemical splashes are not a hazard.
  • Wear eye protection whenever you are in the lab.
    • When using a designated desk/office area in a lab it is recommended that you wear safety glasses.

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Lab Coat Cleaning


  • No Overt Contamination
    • For coats that are dirty, but not chemically contaminated – the owner may choose to wash the coat at home.
    • Carry the lab coat home in secondary bag.
    • Wash the coat by itself, in a washing machine, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Contaminated Coats
    • Must be washed by a commercial laundry service.
    • There are two services in Athens that can handle some lab coats.
      • Downard’s Ambassador Laundry (593-6788) – can clean lab coats contaminated with: human blood and human biological products, other minor biological contamination, and minor chemical contamination (for example organic solvents, not heavy metals)
      • Good Dry Cleaners (592-9667)– can clean lab coats contaminated with: human blood
    • When using a commercial laundry service, it is the responsibility of the lab coat owner or the person arranging laundry service to:
      • Contact the commercial service, explain the specific contamination concern and verify that the laundry service can handle cleaning that lab coat.
      • Bag the lab coats in the lab and if necessary label the bag.  If the lab coats are wet or pose a leak hazard, they must be placed into a leak-proof container for transport.
      • If the coats have a bloodborne pathogens hazards (contaminated with human blood, blood products, human cells or tissues, etc.) the container holding the lab coats must be labeled with the biohazard symbol.  See the BBP Program for more information.
  • Disposable Lab Coats
    • Use if contamination is routine and you do not use a laundry service.
  • Disposal of Lab Coats
    • Both regular and disposable lab coats will eventually need to be disposed of in the appropriate waste stream.
    • Typically lab coats can be disposed of as regular solid waste; however, in some cases they should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Contact the Hazardous Materials Manager if you are unsure of the proper disposal method.

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Sharps Disposal


Non Contaminated Sharps Disposal

  • Collect sharps in a puncture proof container with a lid.
    • Plastic recommended, ex. Paint containers
  • When container is full:
    • Seal the container,
    • Label the container "Sharps" or "Broken Glass,"
    • Dispose of the entire container in the building dumpster

Contaminated Sharps Disposal

  • Collect sharps in a puncture proof container with a lid.
    • Plastic recommended for overt chemical contamination.
    • Biosafety Sharps container for infectious waste contamination
  • When container is full:
    • Seal the container
    • Label the container "Sharps" or "Broken Glass"
    • Dispose of the entire container with the hazardous chemical waste or the infectious waste.

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Empty Chemical Bottle Disposal


  • When possible, use empty bottles to collect compatible chemical waste.
  • If chemical residue can be rinsed out and poured down the drain:
    • Check MSDS & EHS website to be sure the chemical residue can go down the drain,
    • Triple rinse the bottle, then let it dry,
    • Completely mark-out the chemical name on the label and write "triple rinsed,"
    • Dispose in regular trash or recycling if the bottle is unbroken or in sharps waste if it is broken.
  • If chemical residue can be safely rinsed out, but not disposed in the drain:
    • Triple rinse the bottle and collect the rinsate,
    • Dispose of the rinsate with the appropriate hazardous waste,
    • Mark out the bottle label, write "triple rinsed" and dispose of the bottle in the trash or sharps.
  • If the chemical residue cannot be rinsed out, dispose of the entire bottle as hazardous chemical waste.

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