The future of PPE

Vending machines provide lab coats for students
Vending machines provide lab coats for students

Since 2009, colleges across the United States have looked for ways to improve the safety of students, researchers, and staff while in labs. Updates to policy and consistent availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) has created a safer learning environment. Due to cleaning recommendations, managing the logistics of lab coats has created a challenge on college campuses and in private industry. 

In January, the Wayne State University chemistry department partnered with Cintas for a lab coat dispensing program. Wayne State was one of the first higher education institutions in the United States to implement this type of program, which is becoming increasingly popular; as of July 2020, several additional Tier One research institutions have followed suit 

The program provides students and researchers 24/7 access to a lab coat that provides the applicable protection. With just a swipe of their OneCard, the user selects their lab coat size and, within a few seconds, receives a laundered lab coat. Upon completion of the day’s lab work, the user returns the lab coat to a return unit. Cintas visits Wayne State regularly to restock the unit and pick up lab coats that are ready for laundering. 

By Kris Perun 

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