Guidance on Use of Face Masks in the Lab

Colleagues,

Some of you have requested clarification on the use of face coverings in the laboratory. Many institutions have recommended disposable face coverings when working with potentially toxic chemicals or biohazards. Below is Princeton’s guidance on this topic:

“Students and staff may not wear a reusable face covering when conducting research at the laboratory bench with hazardous chemicals, biohazards, or radioactive materials. Disposable face coverings must be worn.”

https://ehs.princeton.edu/health-safety-the-campus-community/covid-19-information-and-resources/guidance-the-use-of-face-coverings

Recommendations:

  • Individuals are not required to wear a face mask/covering when working alone in a laboratory or are able to keep at least 6 feet from another person.
  • Face masks are required when working with others and are unable to keep at least 6 feet from another person.
  • If wearing a face mask, disposable paper masks are recommended when working with hazardous chemicals, biohazards, or radioactive materials. The disposable mask must be discarded at the end of the day.

Orders for disposable face masks and other PPE supplies should be placed at the department level.

Thanks, Henry