Disposable Plastics: Single-Use Medical Devices vs. Better Autoclave Procedures

The healthcare industry has an established way to deal with hard-to-sterilize medical instruments: disposable plastics Although single-use disposable plastics are under fire (consider the “war on drinking straws“), it’s important to keep in mind that modern disposable plastics literally save millions of lives annually: I keep seeing people advocating for the ban of all single-use … Continue reading “Disposable Plastics: Single-Use Medical Devices vs. Better Autoclave Procedures”

Your Biohazard Waste Autoclave Procedure: What Time and Temperature?

When we last discussed red-bag waste autoclave procedure, we talked about running “your standard waste cycle” (noting that these vary by lab). So how do you determine your lab’s “standard” biohazard waste cycle?  The general rule for autoclave sterilization taught at most colleges is “15 minutes at 121ºC kills everything.“  But that’s definitely too short … Continue reading “Your Biohazard Waste Autoclave Procedure: What Time and Temperature?”

Autoclave Procedure for Pipette Tips

The autoclave procedure for pipette tips is a little more involved than other red bag waste. Why? Because pipette tips are pokey: They like to poke through bags and into people.  Even if your pipette tips themselves aren’t contaminated, they are a super-duper good vector for dangerous pathogens.  They’re also great at making sure goop … Continue reading “Autoclave Procedure for Pipette Tips”

The Culture of Safety Starts With Good Training

We applaud the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) and the White House for taking initiative to close gaps in biosafety and biosecurity at infectious disease laboratories. A memorandum released October 2015 details how and when individual government agencies will implement the recommended changes. But are these enough? Based on our years of experience with autoclave … Continue reading “The Culture of Safety Starts With Good Training”