What Supplies Are Used for Lab Safety?


Quick Answer

Laboratory safety supplies include goggles or safety glasses, face shields, lab coats, gloves, fume hoods, fire blankets and spill kits. Some safety equipment applies directly to an individual, whereas other supplies protect the lab as a whole.

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Full Answer

Most professional laboratories, and even some outdoor workspaces, require some level of personal protective equipment. Safety glasses and shields protect the wearer's eyes from splashes directly to the face, and goggles form a protective seal around the eyes. Lab coats protect skin and clothes from toxic or biohazardous substances. Removing a loose-fitting lab coat is easy in the event of a spill, preventing the substance from contacting skin. Simple nitrile or rubber gloves protect the hands from contact with dangerous materials, but thicker gloves are essential for certain chemicals.

Most laboratories also contain equipment like fume hoods, fire blankets, spill kits and eyewash stations. Fume hoods provide a controlled workspace for materials that pose an inhalation risk. Eyewash stations and larger shower stations are the first step in removing hazardous substances from eyes or skin. Spill kits often include both acidic and alkaline substances to clean base or acid spills by neutralizing the material, and specialized ones include calcium gluconate for treating hydrofluoric acid burns. A fire blanket is useful for smothering a small fire, and all laboratories should include at least one variety of fire extinguisher. A first aid kit is also invaluable in a laboratory or any work environment.

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