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How Well You Know Your Laboratory Equipment

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#1 lucast

lucast

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 04:56 AM

From beakers and flasks to microscope and balances, the list of science equipment is varied.
While it is fun to work on chemistry lab equipment, there is always a risk of accidents.
There may be spillages, burns and other serious injuries that could be detrimental to your
health and life.
In order to avoid such situations, it is important that you know laboratory equipment and
their uses. Here is why.
Correct and Efficient Use
The first and foremost reason why you should know the laboratory apparatus and their
uses is to conduct experiments accurately. A simple lapse such as not setting the weighing
machine to zero before weighing something will yield inaccurate results. Similarly, some lab
equipment has more than an on-off mechanism to start or stop it. You should be familiar
with A to Z functioning of an apparatus to ensure you use it the way it is meant to be and
without wasting any time or energy.
Safe Handling
Each type of lab equipment and chemical requires a specific set of safety norms that you
need to follow. For example, proper ventilation is important for handling chemicals which
emit hazardous vapours. Each container needs to be properly labelled to know what is
inside it. Glassware should be taped with friction tape to avoid breakage due to collision
with other lab equipment. Safe handling not only ensures that equipment is properly used
but also prolongs its shelf life.
Use of Materials
Each lab equipment is designed to handle only a certain type of material. For instance, a
pipet bulb is used to draw a liquid. Now if you try to use it to draw even the tiniest solid
material like rice grains, it can stop working. Similarly, flammable liquids need to be stored
in a specially assigned cabinet and not in the refrigerator or open shelves. If you don’t use
the right equipment for a material, it can damage the equipment and give inaccurate
results.
It is advisable to seek advice from your lab instructor to get familiar with common
laboratory apparatus. You can even request the lab equipment supplier to give you a demo
on how to use the equipment. Always remember to read the manual or instruction booklet
that comes with the apparatus to get familiarity with its handling and care while performing
the experiments.






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