In his latest lab safety article, author Vince McLeod weighs in on the use of portable audio devices in the lab. He says that iPods and other such devices, in conjuction with noise from the lab, can lead to hearing loss.

He suggests:

  • If you can't have a normal conversation with someone because of iPod use, the volume should be lowered to where you can hear colleagues and speak at a regular volume
  • Develop a written policy for iPod use in the lab and be sure to highlight which situations iPods are prohibited in
  • If you're unsure about how to handle iPod use, call in a professional to help you assess the risks

What is your policy for the use of devices like iPods in your lab?

LabManager142593121 points out another risk these devices pose in the comments section of the article: possible infection control issues with iPods potentially becoming contaminated with bacteria and then being brought home. What are your thoughts on this issue? Feel free to share your comments at the bottom of this post or on the original article.