April 2017; volume 63, issue 4
ON THE COVER BIOHAZARD! Although people who work in laboratories are taught to respect this symbol and the warning it implies, the symbol did not exist until roughly 50 years ago. Noting the variety of warning symbols that were in use at that time, a confusing and dangerous situation, in 1966 Charles Baldwin of Dow Chemicals set out to create a bold universal symbol that had no up or down design and could be placed on a container in any direction and still be recognizable. After immediate acceptance by government agencies, this symbol became (and still is) the symbol for biohazard materials. Emevrging infectious diseases represent one source of biohazard materials that laboratories must deal with. But are laboratories prepared? This month's issue of Clinical Chemistry contains a Q&A on the topic of laboratory preparedness, in which experts answer the question, “are we there yet?” (See page 807.) Reproduced with
permission. ©Tim Vernon/Science Photo Library.
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