Periodically, lab coats used to protect against routine contamination from hazardous biological and chemical materials should be cleaned. Lab coats should not be taken home to be cleaned, nor should they be taken to a laundry service that is not equipped to handle lab coats. If there is obvious contamination on the lab coat, you must use a laundry service specialized to clean these contaminates or dispose of the lab coat as waste.
If radioactive materials are used in your laboratory, additional precautions must be taken. Since a lab coat could become contaminated with beta/gamma-emitting radioisotopes, it must be surveyed with an appropriate survey instrument and found to contain less than 200 dpm (disintegrations per minute) per 100 cm2 before it can leave the authorized area of use. If you can determine the contamination is below this level, then the coat may leave the radioactive materials area. If the contamination is above 200 dpm per 100 cm2, then the coat may not leave the area and you should contact the Radiation Safety section of EHS at 512-471-3511 for advice or put the contaminated coat in the radioactive material waste bin.
If you are concerned about chemical, biological, or radioactive material contamination on your lab coats, then use disposable lab coats and put the contaminated coat in the appropriate waste container.
If you have questions about disposal procedures, call EHS at 512-471-3511 for information.
These are laundry services that can clean contaminated lab coats, and are already used by some UT labs. They are not necessarily EHS approved companies.