Lab Coats

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Information and map of laundry locations. Schedule a lab coat fitting.

Laboratory coats must be worn at all times while working with or near hazardous chemicals. When coats become dirty they are to be taken to the nearest laundry location and dropped off for laundry service. Lab coats must be properly fitted; coats should comfortably allow full range of movement and have correct sleeve length (no rolled sleeves). The PPE office maintains a stock of coats in various sizes and lengths: women's coats from 2XS - 3XL, unisex coats from 2XS - 5XL, and unisex long coats in sizes L - 3XL.

Laboratory coats are selected based on the type of hazards and chemicals handled. The type of material is an important factor when considering what type of coat is appropriate for your research operations. Common types of coats, construction materials, and appropriate use considerations are detailed below (highlighted coats are currently available thorugh the EH&S PPE Office): 

Flame Resistant
- Nomex           

Nomex is a meta-aramid synthetic fiber and offers the highest level fire protection in a lab coat. Appropriate for use with pyrophoric liquids and large quantities of flammable liquids where risk of fire is present. The material is intrinsically flame resistant; its protection will not diminish over repeated washes.

Flame Resistant - Cotton                 

Cotton lab coats that are treated with a flame resistant substance provide a good balance of protection from chemicals (corrosive, solvent) and low-medium fire risk procedures. Unfortunately, the flame retardant properties of the coat may decrease following frequent laundering. Not appropriate for use with pyrophoric materials.

Traditional - Cotton                              

Coats made from 100% cotton are not as fire resistant as Nomex or treated cotton. But, unlike synthetic blend coats, the cotton coat will not melt and adhere to the wearer. Appropriate for general use of hazardous materials where risk of fire is low. Will provide some protection from chemicals, but may degrade from the exposure.

Traditional - Poly/Cotton Blends

Common blends include 80/20 and 65/35 - polyester / cotton. Blended coats will burn and melt (more vigorously the higher the polyester content). These coats are generally lightweight and resist wrinkles, but do not "breath" as well as Nomex of 100% cotton coats. They are not appropriate for use with pyrophoric materials or flames.

- Polyester                                 

Barrier coats are made from 100% polyester and prevent fluid penetration. Primarily used when handling bloodborne pathogens or other infectious material. Like other polyester coats, these will readily burn and melt and should never be used with pyrophorics, flamable solvents, or around open flames (e.g., Bunsen burner).

Contact EH&S (, 459-2553) to request more information on lab coats.

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