Chapter 3. Laboratory Safety

This is a short chapter, but a very important one. Many of the procedures described in this book use chemicals, such as strong acids and bases, that are dangerous if handled improperly. Some procedures use open flame or other heat sources, and many use glassware.

Doing biology lab work at home has its dangers, but then so does driving a car. And, just as you must remain constantly alert while driving, you must remain constantly alert while doing lab work at home.

It’s important to keep things in perspective. Every year, millions of students do biology labs. There are, of course, occasional small injuries, such as minor cuts and burns. More serious injuries are extraordinarily rare and occur almost exclusively when students ...

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