Lab Safety Instructions for Biology 328– Plants and People

Most of the plants, tools, and chemicals we work with are pretty harmless, and most situations require only common sense.  However, safety regulations do apply to the Biology 328 lab.

These are general instructions.  Your TA will have specific instructions for each lab.  Always ask your TA or lab coordinator if you are unsure what to do.

–Wear closed-toe shoes to all labs.

–Know the location of the first aid kit,  fire extinguisher, eye wash station, and shower  The first aid kit is in the cabinet at the end of the lab table nearest the doors.  The fire extinguisher, eye wash station, and shower are in the hallway, north of the lab room.

–Do not smoke, fiddle with contact lenses, or apply makeup or lotion in lab.

–Eat only samples that you know have been washed, if applicable.

–DO NOT eat anything to which you know you are allergic, which is edible only if cooked if presented in a raw state, or which is marked “do not eat” or “demo only.”

–Be aware that some plant specimens may have prickles, thorns, irritant sap, or allergenic pollen.
–Exercise caution when using sharp instruments such as knives, dissecting needles, and blades.

–Dispose of used blades and broken glass in the appropriate containers.

–Use the microwave in a safe manner.

–Know the location of and refer to the Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheets for ethanol and Carosafe.

–Wear eye protection–safety glasses, goggles, or regular eyeglasses–when working with specimens preserved in Carosafe liquid. We will tell you which these are; there will not be many.

–Dispose of all Carosafe specimens in the Hazardous Waste container.

–Bring or ask for and wear rubber gloves if you are particularly sensitive to ethanol, Carosafe, or plant sap. (This is uncommon.)

–Wash your hands before eating and after handling fresh or preserved specimens.


–Wear a seat belt in the van.

–Wear closed-toe shoes.  

–Wear sunscreen, a hat, long sleeves, etc. if you are sensitive to the sun.  Carry water if you need to.

–Watch for insects and snakes.

–Learn what poison ivy looks like and know how to avoid it.

–Follow any instructions the TA, lab coordinator, or trip guide/host gives you.

–Do not eat anything unless you are specifically instructed to do so.

–Do not wander off.

last updated MDReed June 16, 2010