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Do you have Particularly Hazardous Substances in your chemical inventory?

Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS) are chemicals that pose a high risk to employees in the workplace. Work with these substances requires specialized training from your PI or supervisor, and customized standard operating procedures (SOPs) that identify designated work areas, containment devices (such as fume hoods and glove boxes), procedures for decontamination, and prior approvals before work begins.

 
 

Bats at the UW

Although bats are a key part of our ecosystem, it is important to remember that a small proportion of bats in Washington state carry rabies, a deadly disease in the saliva of infected animals.

You may have noticed bats flying around campus. They are commonly seen flying at dusk, which is normal and not a cause for concern. However, if a bat is found on the ground or indoors, it may be an indication of something wrong with the bat.

 

Many older UW buildings are made of hazardous materials

Do-it-yourself repairs or projects that disturb walls, floor tiles, ceilings, fixtures and other building materials can expose you to substances that pose serious health risks.

University policy prohibits any “do-it-yourself” construction, renovation or modification of University buildings.  Even simple projects, such as hammering a nail into a wall, can expose you to hazardous chemicals and result in regulatory fines.

 

The trouble with UV light in your biosafety cabinet

Does your biological safety cabinet (BSC) have an ultraviolet (UV) lamp in it? If so, it may not be as effective for sterilization/decontamination purposes as you need it to be.

Ultraviolet radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation, and biological effects from it vary with wavelength, photon energy, and duration of exposure. The 100-280 nm wavelength band is designated as UV-C, which is used for germicidal purposes.

The sterilization/decontamination activity of UV lights is limited by a number of factors, including:

 
 

National Biosafety Month 2018: Promoting a culture of safety

During 2018's National Biosafety Month, you are encouraged to focus attention on biosafety policies and practices. Investigators and laboratory managers can raise biosafety awareness, discuss the importance of safety, and seek input on ways to strengthen biosafety in their labs. This year, EH&S is focusing on ways you can promote a culture of safety.

1. Know your responsibilities as a principal investigator (PI).