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Forbid Smoking, Eating, and Drinking in the Laboratory

The practice of forbidding smoking, eating, and drinking in laboratories is one of the basic good hygiene practices.

by James A. Kaufman
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The practice of forbidding smoking, eating, and drinking in laboratories is one of the basic good hygiene practices. Unfortunately, it is often one of the most frequently disregarded. Too many people seem to have a "good reason" for continuing these bad habits. None of these reasons are good enough. These practices protect people in laboratories from ingesting toxic chemicals or infectious materials. The stuff that's on your hands ends up in your mouth. I've watched science department heads drink coffee while supervising the lab. I've seen teachers make stir-fried vegetables in a wok in the lab between classes for lunch. Don't do it. Set a good example yourself and enforce the rules. Set up a separate area that can be used for taking breaks, making coffee, and consuming food. Don't allow it in the lab.