Tips to Avoid Contamination in a Laboratory

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Science laboratory research and development concept. microscope with test tubes

While dealing with laboratory instruments, hazardous chemicals, or specimens in a laboratory, you need to be very careful. Failing to contain them can spread hazards and contaminate you, your coworkers, and things around you.

 

Having to handle hazardous substances every day in the laboratory, you might think you are dealing with them well and can protect yourself. But even the smallest amount of negligence with chemicals can lead to contamination. How do you ask?

 

Let’s understand it with the help of an example. For instance, imagine you are in between an experiment, and you spilled a few drops of the chemical on your gloved hands. Meanwhile, if you use your hands to set your hair, take a call, write something down, or touch any other substance after the experiment, these unconscious actions will contaminate all the things you touched and will later spread contamination to others and to you even outside the laboratory.

 

However, while getting contaminated seems easy we need to do everything in our power to shield ourselves effectively. Here are the tips you should follow to avoid contamination in the laboratory.

 

Things You Need to Stay Contamination Free

The four major routes through which materials can enter our body are – eyes absorption, skin contact absorption, injection, and ingestion. To guard yourself and the entry routes of the body, you need a combination of personal protective equipment (PPE) and engineering control, which include –

  • Gloves – Wearing gloves protect your hands from direct contact with chemicals, infection, and contamination.
  • Eye Wear – While minor burns or cuts on the skin can heal, the slightest splash in the eyes can permanently damage them. Thus, wearing eye protection is necessary in the lab.
  • Lab Coat – Lab coats shield your clothes and skin from direct chemical exposure. In case of chemical spills or burns, the coat protects you from them.
  • Face Shield – If there are any anticipated chances of chemicals bubbling or splashing to the face, or neck area, it is best to stay protected with a face shield to avoid contamination.
  • Splash Guards and Blast Shields – While working on hazardous experiments, wearing splash guards and blast shields will protect you from inadvertent chemical contact exhaust hoods.

 

Important General Tips

  • In case any item of your PPE gear is ripped, broken, or has wear, change them immediately.