Laboratory accidents happen. Unfortunately, glass is one of the most common materials susceptible to breaking, and is used in every laboratory. Considering the vast amount of hazardous materials handled in laboratories today, there is a significant health and safety risk associated with broken laboratory containers and glassware. While broken glass presents some very serious dangers, such risks can be minimized with the use of safety coated containers.
When a container with a safety coating is dropped, many of the glass fragments will remain intact and help control the spill of its contents. This slow and controlled release from the plastic coating tremendously reduces the risk of chemical inhalation and exposure by giving those in harm’s way the time needed to react. Those extra moments to get to safety and properly clean the spill can make a huge difference. Workers should have been trained on what PPE to wear and the proper cleanup procedure in the event of a spill.
The safety coating does more than just add protection to the laboratory personnel. The benefits of such a coating include resistance to impact, thermal shock, and slippage. The container’s protective coating improves slip-resistance and handling by lab personnel, when compared to standard glass containers. Certainly, all of these are welcomed safety features that are hard to overlook, especially when working with harsh chemicals.
Most plastic barriers are manufactured from a mixture of fine PVC particles and a plasticizer, an additive that helps create the plastic wall. Certain colorants and stabilizers may also be used in the manufacturing process. These components are heated together, often in an autoclave, to create the plastic safety coating.
Due to the specific properties of the safety coating’s composition, safety coated containers are not able to be dry heat sterilized, and should never be used with a direct heat source or open flame. Such use will cause the plastic coating to burn and turn yellow. Safety coated containers provide many safety benefits to your laboratory.
Does your lab utilize safety coated containers? Please let us know by commenting below!