A laboratory is the birthplace of important discoveries like medicines, health products, and more. Still, it should be a safe place to avoid contamination. There are toxic items inside that a controlled environment is a must. Here’s how to optimize the laboratory.
Importance of Environment Control in the Laboratory
Most laboratories are home to high-value instruments and tools, and a controlled environment ensures their functionality. It’s easy to prevent cross-contamination in a controlled environment. Technicians and other laboratory employees simply need to make sure that they are doing things the right way. Dr. Deepak Bhanot, a graduate of Chemistry and Research, explains how to optimize a laboratory below.
What are the Sources of Contamination?
- Outside sources – dust and bacteria
- Dirty hands, hair, and dandruff
- Dirty glassware
- Broken seals
- Opened packages
- Dirty utensils like syringe and spatula
- Exposed chemical and reagent
How to Prevent Cross-Contamination
- Maintenance of temperature
- Extra care for sensitive areas
- Ban visitors from entering or make them wear the proper laboratory attire
- Toxic items should have separate shelves
- Clean the floors regularly
- Use the proper gear when handling substances or doing other tasks
- Clean all parts of the laboratory
- Clean the glass door refrigerator and cabinets
- Disinfect every corner
- Keep your hands clean all the time
- Wash before and after a procedure
Areas of the Laboratory
There can be several areas inside a laboratory. There’s a wet area for wet chemicals or hazardous areas for dangerous substances. It’s a must to separate areas that can endanger people and things in the laboratory. You must also protect the computer because it contains important files. Wear protective gear if the high-and-low-hazardous areas are near each other.
Laboratory and Office Space
People who work together for a project would want to be near each other. They can relay details of their work easier when they’re only a few steps away. It’s still a must to separate the two areas for safety. Paper documents are safer in the office. To add, food and other items aren’t allowed in the laboratory so the office is the perfect place to put those. NCBI further explains that there should still be a partition even when the laboratory and office are in one space. Visitors should also navigate a direct passage to the office.
Other Things Inside the Laboratory
The laboratory is home to pieces of equipment. It also houses shelves for chemicals and other formulations. These items should be movable, thus, having wheels if possible. It’s easier to bring the items from corner to corner this way.
Modern laboratories must also have spaces between machines. It’s designed that way so maintenance workers can access those easier. Some laboratories have an overhead service carrier. This is to replace the interstitial spaces if there aren’t any. Aside from that, work areas should be chemical resistant, functional, and convenient. There’s also proper ventilation to normalize the laboratory environment.
A laboratory is an amazing place for scientists and inventors. It should function in the best possible way. For that reason, the optimization of this place is so important.