1. No food or drink is allowed in lab unless food or drinks are provided as a part of the lab. Even though lab tables and counters are wiped down before each lab set up, as a result of some laboratory exercises, chemical residues may be present on the tables. For labs exercises involving food or drinks, lab assistants and instructors will follow procedures that allow safe consumption. Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings.


2. Shoes must be worn in lab.


3. If you have very long hair, please tie it back in the laboratory.


4. Handle chemicals, reagents, and stains carefully and follow all warnings. All bottles and containers are labeled as to contents and potential hazards. If, for example, a label says avoid contact with substance and fumes, do so. For potentially hazardous chemicals, information on the hazards, proper handling, and clean-up is provided on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). These are available in the lab. It is highly recommended that you spend the first few minutes of the lab consulting the MSDS.


5. Read all precautions in the laboratory manual and on labels and follow directions exactly.


6. Always double-check the name of the reagent to be used and the name of the reagent you are using. Reagent bottles should remain stoppered, except when you are actually pouring solutions out of them. Always replace the stopper or lid of stock solutions or stains. Be sure to put them on the container they came from.

Take only as much as you need and never return leftover solutions to a reagent bottle. Discard leftovers in the proper container.


7. Do not use your thumb as a stopper. Swirl gently or put a piece of parafilm over the opening to mix solutions.


8. Label all test tubes and other containers with contents.


9. Do not pour reagents and chemicals down the sink. Dispose of these only in designated containers.


10.       Put plant remains in the designated containers. Do not discard solids or plant materials down the sinks. They will clog up the sink. Use specified containers for such wastes


11. Be sure to use caution when using razor blades to prepare lab materials. Put the used blades into the designated container from which you obtained them. Do not leave them loose on the desks or counters. Never put razor blades in the wastepaper basket.


12. If glassware accidentally becomes broken, carefully clean it up with a broom and dustpan. Dispose of the broken glass in containers labeled FOR BROKEN GLASS ONLY.


13. When using hot plates, unplug them before you leave the lab.


14. If you notice that the cord on a hot plate or microscope has become frayed and wires are showing, report this immediately to the instructor.


15. If you are in doubt about directions for an experiment or activity or about use or disposal of materials, ask first before acting.


16. Your instructor will review with you the location and, where applicable, use of the safety equipment in the laboratory including:


MSDS files

emergency phone

first aid kit

fire extinguisher





1. When getting solutions for your experiments or stains for experiments or observations, put the containers or bottles back in their designated place after you have used them.


2. Unless directed to do so, do not eat our specimens.

Greenhouse materials, for example, are often sprayed with hazardous materials.


3. Do not waste paper towels or any other lab materials.


4. You are expected to clean up after yourselves:


         Take labels from test tubes and/or beakers.

         Wash all glassware and put it back where you found it.

         Place all dirty slides and cover slips in the designated containers.

         Leave tables clean when you leave the lab. Throw away any trash you generate. Wipe up water, other liquids, soil, and plant material. Be sure to discard extra plant material in the designated containers.

         Return the prepared slides in the proper slide tray.

         Take the slide off the stage of your microscope, put the scanning (3X) lens in place, and return your microscope to its proper place in the microscope cabinet.