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ATTN: Researchers Using Workrite FR/CP Lab Coats

UCLA has learned that the Workrite FR/CP[1] lab coats distributed through our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program incorporate a coating that contains perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment[2], and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that PFAS is detectable in the blood of 97% of Americans[3]. While there is much uncertainty regarding the health effects of PFAS exposure, some scientific studies suggest that PFAS may increase the risk of some cancers, cause reproductive and developmental harm, and damage the liver and immune system depending on exposure levels and other factors. California has banned the use of PFAS in textiles starting in 2025, though an exemption exists permitting their continued use in PPE because the Legislature recognizes that currently there are no effective alternatives to PFAS in use for critically important, lifesaving PPE[4].

UCLA is working to identify alternative lab coats which are as protective against flash fire and chemical exposure but do not contain PFAS. UCLA is committed to transitioning campus researchers to safe, effective and PFAS-free products when such products are available.

Currently, we believe that the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to continue wearing your current lab coat while working in the lab. You can minimize your exposure to PFAS by removing your lab coat before you leave the lab, and by wearing a long-sleeve natural fiber (e.g. cotton or wool) shirt underneath your lab coat. If you have any questions, please contact EH&S at .


[1] Workrite FR lab coats, which have previously been distributed at UCLA, do not contain PFAS, but also provide limited protection against chemical exposures.


[3] Kato K, Wong LY, Jia LT, Kuklenyik Z, Calafat AM. “Trends in exposure to polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in the U.S. Population: 1999-2008.” Environ Sci Technol. 2011 45 (19), 8037-45. doi: 10.1021/es1043613.