The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - Clothing in the Lab

In research spaces that use or store any biological agents or chemicals, regardless of what activities are currently being performed, appropriate dress must be worn by all individuals at all times.

Appropriate dress includes:

  • Shirts that cover the stomach and upper arms.
  • Long pants or skirts that reach the top of the shoe,
  • Shoes that are both closed-toe and solid-top, and
  • Socks, if necessary to cover skin between the bottom of the pants/skirt and the top of the shoes.

No skin may be exposed or visible below the neck, with the exception of the lower arms.  This means no ripped jeans, shorts, cut-outs, crop tops, mesh/fabric thin enough that skin is visible through the fabric, etc.  No sandals, ballet flats, peep-toes, etc.

Natural fibers (cotton, wool, leather, etc.) are better than synthetics as they have better chemical-resistant and fire-retardant properties.

Picture of Clothing for Labs