LIFE SCIENCE SAFETY CONCERNS
Animals in the Classroom
. Be aware of National's Biology Teachers and National Science Teachers Association Rules governing the use of animals in the classroom. These can be found in Gerlovich (1985), pp 150-155 and Virkus (1978), pp 80-81.
. Sound teacher judgment and concern for the well being of the animals is of prime importance.
. A healthy and proper environment should be provided.
. Use plants rather than animals, when available.
. Avoid activities that are beyond the capability of the student.
. Diet experiments should require the return of the animal to a normal diet.
. Vivisection (the cutting into or experimentation with live animals) is not permitted.
. Wear gloves and handle animals carefully to avoid scratches and bites that may cause transmission of harmful disease.
. Students should be familiar with the identification of protected or regulated animals that inhabit the general region of a collection site.
. Do not allow the following in the classroom:
.. imported exotic animals
.. wild animals
.. injured or stray animals
.. known poisonous animals
. Follow instructions provided when working with live materials ordered through a supply company.
. Be informed of any student who may be put under physical stress when using preserved specimens.
. Monitor for any signs of student illness as a result of exposure to chemicals used in specimen preparation.
. Avoid contact with preservative chemicals (formaldehyde and formalin). It is suggested to soak specimens in water for 24 hours prior to dissection. [Maximum exposure should be no more than 2 ppm in a 15 minute period.] Freeze-dried specimens are recommended.
. An eye-wash fountain should be available for student use if needed.
. OSHA approved chemical splash safety goggles must be worn and may be purchased through the Akron Public Schools Warehouse. The school secretary can provide the necessary order for
. Provide adequate ventilation during dissection.
. Properly mount dissection specimens to dissecting pan. Do not dissect a specimen while holding it.
. Handle scalpel or razor blade (safety edged) with extreme care.
. Students should always cut away from their bodies and away from other students.
. Students should be cautioned to never ingest specimen parts.
. Students should not be allowed to remove specimens or specimen parts from the classroom.
. All parts of the dissection must remain within the dissecting pan.
. Properly dispose of dissected materials.
. Store specimens in accordance with directions.
. Clean up the work area and return all equipment to the proper place.
. Wash hands after each dissection.
. Instruct students in the proper use of the microscope.
. Avoid the use of pathogens and tumor-producing agents.
. Solutions of vinegar, salt water and iodine should be handled with caution.
. Carry the microscope with one hand on the microscope arm and the other under the base.
. Do not use direct sunlight as a light source.
. Be careful when using glass slides and cover slips because they are sharp.
. Under no circumstances should equipment, used in personal experiments, be shared (straws, toothpicks, spoons, tongue depressors, etc.).
. Use Lysol or bleach to disinfect an area if needed.
. Return all equipment to its proper location.
Plants in the Classroom
. Avoid distribution of pollen bearing plants or mold infested substances in the classroom.
. Be familiar with the identification of protected or regulated plants found in the general area of a collection site. (see Gerlovich , pp 148-149)
. Familiarize yourself with common poisonous plants typical to the general area of a collection site
. Monitor for any signs of student illness as a result of exposure to plants, pollen or fungal spores.
. Use plastic substitutes for glassware, whenever possible.
. Never eat or drink out of class glassware.
. Do not apply extreme force to any glass object.
. Do not shake down or swing thermometers. Substitute alcohol for mercury thermometers.
. Use Pyrex glassware, where indicated.
. Do not use damaged or chipped glassware.
. Do not dispose of broken glassware in classroom waste basket.