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The following is a list of safety
products that are recommended for use in the Human Anatomy and Physiology
Using 100% nitrile or vinyl powder-free exam gloves eliminates
the risk of developing latex hypersensitivity and allergic reactions.
Recessed Blade Lancet
A retractable blade in the lancet reduces the risk of
accidental punctures and facilitates safer disposal
Ultraviolet light sterilizes safety goggles for student use in
multiple laboratory sections.
Scalpel Blade Remover
A device that removes scalpel blades safely from scalpel
handles and also collects the used blades for safe disposal as an enclosed
Safety goggles should be routinely used to protect eyes from
splashes of preservative and specimen
fragments when dissecting. Ventless goggles should be used for those who are
contact lens wearers; others should wear indirect vent goggles.
Autoclavable, puncture resistant containers for the safe
disposal of biohazardous sharp objects such as lancets, razor blades, glass
microscope slides, and glassware.
Disposable Lab Aprons
Polyethylene lab aprons to protect skin and clothing from preservatives.
Mylar Wrapped Capillary
For hematocrit exercises, use mylar wrapped capillary tubes
to reduce the risk of broken tubes and accidental exposure.
Spotlight on Safety - Handle with Gloves!
Gloves are an important part of the personal safety gear for students and instructors in
the human anatomy and physiology laboratory. Laboratory gloves protect the wearer
from hazardous biological materials and/ or chemicals. Different glove materials differ in
their degree of protection. One important property to consider when choosing a glove
material is the permeation rate or the time it takes for a chemical to diffuse through the
glove. Another is dexterity; thinner gloves afford greater dexterity but usually have
quicker permeation rates.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) include information on which glove material is
appropriate for the handling of a particular chemical. For example, feline embalming fluid
manufactured by one biological supply company identifies the following principal
hazardous components: formaldehyde, propylene glycol, methanol, phenol, and sodium
citrate. The accompanying MSDS recommends neoprene or nitrile gloves in handling of
specimens embalmed in this solution.
Latex and nitrile gloves are the two most popular materials for disposable laboratory
gloves. Both latex and nitrile gloves have very good permeation resistance to
formaldehyde. Latex, manufactured from the milky fluid of the rubber tree (Hevea
brasiliensis) was the first material developed for use as disposable gloves but latex
proteins can cause allergies in certain individuals. It is estimated that 5 to 20% of health
care workers have developed some type of latex allergy. Powdered latex gloves have
cornstarch to ease donning and removal but scatter latex proteins into the air increasing
the area of exposure to these allergens. The use of powdered latex gloves should be
Gloves should be removed by peeling off one glove, starting at the wrist. Care should be
taken to prevent the surface of the glove coming in contact with the skin. The removed
glove (now turned inside out) is used to peel off the remaining glove. Hands should be
washed with soap after the gloves have been removed and properly disposed of.
Spotlight on Safety Protective Eyewear - The Eyes Have It!
Serious eye injuries in the human A&P laboratory may occur from splashes of
chemicals, vapors from preservatives, spray from wetting solutions, contamination with
body fluids, or impact from bone chips. To protect the eyes from these hazards, a variety
of safety eyewear is available: glasses, goggles, and face shields.
Safety glasses look like prescription eyeglasses but have sturdier frames and
impact resistant lenses. Safety glasses are not sufficient to provide protection from major
chemical splashes because they do not fit tightly against the face. Side shields can be
added to safety glasses to improve protection.
Unlike safety glasses, goggles fit tightly against the face providing better
protection from flying particles and chemical splashes. Ventilated goggles prevent
fogging by allowing air to circulate and safety goggles can have either direct or indirect
ventilation. Direct ventilation will stop the entry of large particles into the eye but goggles
with indirect ventilation are constructed to prohibit hazardous materials from draining
directly into the eye and are the better choice.
Face shields are commonly used to guard against splashes of body fluids or
chemical spray and should be large enough to protect the ears, neck, and face. Face
shields alone are not enough to defend against powerful impact from flying particles or
large volumes of hazardous liquids and under these conditions, face shields should be
worn with either safety glasses or goggles. If the primary danger is chemical splash, use
goggles and a face shield. If there is danger of impact from flying particles, safety
glasses should be worn under the face shield.
It is permissible to wear contact lenses in the laboratory but they do not offer any
protection against chemical splashes and safety eyewear must be worn over them. If a
contact lens becomes contaminated with hazardous chemicals, the eye should be rinsed
at an eyewash station and the contact lens removed immediately and discarded.
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