None meet laboratory safety standards

None meet laboratory safety standards

Everything, absolutely everything, can become an object of study. Whether it is the most transcendent questions in the universe or the most mundane issues affecting our present day. Well, once we clarify this hypothesis, we will reveal the most curious scientific news of the day. The British Medical Journal has just published the most comprehensive study to date on Barbie dolls with white coats. That is, all the dolls represent the scientific and medical professions. Conclusion? According to the analysis of researcher Katherine Klamer, scientific Barbie dolls are still far removed from the reality of the profession. He specifically warns that “none of them meet laboratory safety standards.”

Before getting into the debate, let's start the discussion by putting all the facts on the table. According to this study, from the 1960s to the present, a total of 92 Mattel dolls related to science or medicine have been marketed. The first healthcare doll was released in 1961. The first was Nurse Barbie, who was sold in her white knee-length dress, blue gown, and high heels. It was a decade before the first Dr. Barbie appeared, who came out in 1973 wearing, of course, a surgical gown cut off just above the knees. The first Barbie scientist went on sale only in 2015, and she also wore a miniskirt, high heels and an open dress.

Inaccuracy in details

Analysis of the clothes and accessories of these dolls indicates the following diagnosis. Most scientific and medical dolls wear very high heels (50% of cases) or medium heels (20%). There is also a majority (over 60%) who wear clothes that leave a large part of their legs exposed and also let their hair down. There are those who may criticize this clothing choice for perpetuating gender stereotypes. But this article suggests a more realistic criticism. “These gowns are not suitable for the laboratory. Exposed skin or falling hair can be very dangerous. In many cases, this may be prohibited for safety reasons,” comments Klamer.

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Criticisms of Barbie's scientific inaccuracy do not stop there. The analysis indicates, more than definitively, that “none of the dummies fully adheres to occupational safety standards in their respective fields.” On the one hand, because his clothing violates professional protocols. On the other hand, because they don't even have the right accessories to do their job. In this regard, the study indicates that 98% of medical dolls contain accessories such as “microscopes, stethoscopes, and glasses,” while only 4% have safety tools such as disposable masks and gloves. “This would leave them exposed to materials.” Chemical and biological risks,” says Klamer.

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The analysis points to a “worrying lack of accuracy” in small details. For example, tying hair without tying it has led to “several scientists getting trapped in laboratory machines and losing their lives because of it.” Jewelry is prohibited from being used in many laboratories, as it may practically contain dangerous chemicals. Wearing inappropriate clothing can lead to everything from chemical burns to infection, which can lead to “serious injury and disability.” The published study says: “Today’s scientific dummies have become unnecessarily irresponsible.”

The author of this analysis calls on Mattel, as well as other toy companies, to give priority to creating dolls that are “more realistic” and adapted to the characteristics of their profession. “We need dolls with short or gathered hair, ankle-length pants and skirts, flat, closed-toed shoes, disposable gloves, and wrist-length lab coats,” Klamer says. “Personal protective equipment may not be fashionable, but no woman wants to die and it is sacred but from preventable causes,” the analysis concludes, and also suggests creating more Barbie dolls specializing in various branches of science and medicine so girls can find reference points. From which you can be inspired.

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