To reduce the likelihood of ingesting hazardous materials, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have incorporated “No Food or Drink” language into various regulations and safety manuals.
The Radiation Safety Office follows a General Enforcement Policy as approved by the CWRU Radiation Safety Committee. Please also review the Violation Enforcement Policy for use of radioactive material at the university. Radioactive material usage requires strict adherence to OSHA rules and regulations pertaining to eating/drinking in the laboratory.
Eating, drinking, chewing gum, applying cosmetics, taking medications, or similar activities in laboratories may result in the accidental ingestion of hazardous materials (chemical, radiological, biological); therefore these activities are strictly prohibited from all Case Western Reserve University laboratory spaces. Such activities are permitted in an area (defined as a room with floor to ceiling walls and a closed door) separated from the laboratory space. A separate section of an open laboratory denoted by a line on the floor and/or signs is not adequate and is not allowed. If a separate area for eating can only be accessed by going through the laboratory, then all food or beverage items must be covered when carried through the laboratory. These requirements help prevent ingestion of hazardous materials, which can occur by touching one's mouth with contaminated hands, eating from a container that is contaminated, or eating food that has come into contact with hazardous materials. In addition, food containers must NEVER be discarded in the laboratory trash containers. Further, food containers must not be washed in laboratory sinks. This practice risks contaminating the containers with laboratory materials.