Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Environment, Health and Safety

Microfuge Caps

In January 2012, a worker in a radioactive materials lab was performing an experiment which involved incubating a 40 µl sample in a 0.6 ml microfuge tube using a dry heat block. As the tube was lifted from the heat block, the cap popped open, releasing a radioactive aqueous solution that contaminated the work area.  Cap locks, as shown below, are now being used in this lab during heat block incubations to prevent future occurrences:

Original Microfuge Vial

Original Microfuge Vial

Cap Lock

Cap Lock

The cap lock is a plastic sleeve that slides over the cap and rim of the tube to secure the cap in place.

The cap lock is a plastic sleeve that slides over the cap and rim of the tube to secure the cap in place.

Cap Lock in Place

Cap Lock in Place

Recommendations

Lab personnel are encouraged to obtain cap locks for tubes used in procedures where internal pressures may be generated. Cap locks can be purchased through most laboratory supply venders such as: Laboratory Products Sales, Inc, VWR, Fisher Scientific, etc.