Lab Safety and Ethics
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With great power comes great responsibility. Noisebridge has some powerful tools and technologies being used with big machines and lasers and the like comes the need to take reasonable precautions to protect everyone's safety and ensure we aren't the baddies.
General Safety Guidelines
- No experimenting with or on any surface or plate/cup/container that can hold food.
- Experiments and reagents should be stored in their own fridge. Do not place your experiments, media, or chemicals in the food fridge.
- Don’t place your experiments near any food or drink.
- Sterilize all waste as necessary, and dispose of all waste properly. Specific guidelines for waste disposal may be found below.
- Disinfect/wipe down of any surface you've been working on with Lysol or ethanol.
- Cover dishes if you aren't directly working with your culture (to keep from contaminating your culture, your peers and Noisebridge).
- Know how to safely use and dispose of materials (reagents for example) before they enter Noisebridge. Do not bring reagents in which require hazardous waste disposal - Noisebridge currently does not have the permits or processes necessary for this.
- Many materials used in wet biology are flammable or otherwise harmful and will be kept in a locked cabinet labeled with the appropriate warning labels (ie: flammable, skull and crossbones, etc.). Flammables, acids, and bases should be stored in a segregated manner.
- Material Safety Data Sheets will be kept near the cabinet for all materials stored there.
- Noisebridge is a humane space -- no animal experimentation!
- Extra caution must be used in dealing with chemicals and cell cultures for not just healthy adults, but also children, elderly, immunosuppressed people, people with high allergen reactions, pets, and anything the pets may ingest including roaches/mice/pests that may reside at Noisebridge. All of these things come into Noisebridge and we can by NO MEANS be thought of as lab environment (until we come up with dedicated space for that).
- Know your materials, know your materials, know your materials
All waste that has come in contact with bacteria, yeast, or transgenic cells is considered biohazard waste. Biohazard waste must be sterilized before being disposed of. The following two methods of sterilization may be used:
Pressure Cooker Sterilization
The pressure cooker may be used to sterilize liquid and solid waste, as well as to sterilize media, glassware, tools etc. The procedures for use are as follows:
- Solid waste should be put inside an autoclave-safe bag. The bag should not be completely closed to allow steam to enter. A piece of pressure-sensitive autoclave tape should be placed outside the bag.
- The pressure cooker should obtain a temperature of 121C and maintain this temperature for 20 minutes. When sterilizing larger quantities of media (i.e. 1 L) a longer time of 30 minutes is required.
- Pressure-sensitive autoclave tape should be used on media, glassware, and waste to ensure proper sterilization.
Specific instructions on using the pressure cooker should be placed here once a pressure cooker has been obtained
Following sterilization, solid waste bags may be disposed of in regular trash, and liquid waste may be poured down the drain.
Liquid Bleach Sterilization
Liquid solutions may be sterilized by adding 10% bleach to the solution and letting sit for 20 minutes. Following sterilization, liquid waste may be poured down the drain.
Noisebridge currently does not have the permits or processes necessary to handle hazardous waste generation and disposal. Therefore no chemicals or reagents requiring hazardous waste disposal should be brought into Noisebridge until such processes are setup.