The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin
Equipment and supplies necessary to teach inquiry science must be supported by an
adequate budget. The purpose of this chapter is to provide information on the safety
equipment and supplies needed for science instruction. Refer to Appendix G for a list of the
minimum equipment and supplies needed to teach science in kindergarten through grade 12.
The use of personal protection equipment is recommended and, in some cases, required, as an
additional safeguard against laboratory and field hazards. Personal protection equipment includes
eyewear, laboratory aprons, laboratory coats, and protective gloves. Eyewear should meet the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z87.1: Practice for Occupational and
Educational Eye and Face Protection. Eyewear meeting this standard will bear markings such as
“Z87.1” on the frames, and the lenses will be marked with the manufacturer’s trademark.
Aprons are usually listed as “bib type,” which
are suitable for laboratory use. Aprons should
be worn over clothing that covers the arms and
Laboratory coats are usually fire retardant and
made of cotton or paper. They provide protection
against flying objects, sharp or rough edges,
splashes and spills, and fire.
Laboratory aprons and coats are designed to
protect clothing and skin from splashed and
spilled chemicals and biological materials.
They should fit the wearer properly to provide
maximum protection. A laboratory coat or
an apron should be worn at all times in the
There are no ANSI standards for the manufacture
of laboratory aprons. Therefore, selection of the
appropriate apron must be based on the hazards
with which it is likely to come into contact.
Apron materials vary widely and may be used in
single or multiple layers. Multiple-layered aprons
decrease the rate of permeation. They are usually
made of plastic or rubber to protect against