Biomedical analyst

Risk level

Got a thing for white coats?

This is a job for anyone wanting to be surrounded by test tubes, microscopes and laboratories. Biomedical analysts analyse samples and substances in hospitals, research labs and the pharmaceutical industry. Lots of wet work and close-fitting gloves can result in eczema, and handling animals can cause asthma. However, there are plenty of ways of avoiding problems.

What are the risks?

Biomedical analysts spend much of their day doing lab work, some of which can involve lots of wet work such as washing up, disinfection and so on, which dries out the skin. This can cause eczema in some people, and the skin becomes dry, red and flaky with cracks and blisters that itch.

Close-fitting plastic or latex gloves are often used, and can cause eczema if you have to wear them for much of the day.

Some jobs in research laboratories involve working with laboratory animals, which could exacerbate asthma if you have it. If you are prone to allergies, there is a major risk that you will develop one to laboratory animals.

Prevention and avoidance

Look after your skin by rubbing a moisturising cream into your hands before work and during breaks.

There are lots of different paths open to biomedical analysts, and some carry fewer risks than others. Physiological work, for example, involves using technical equipment to test how patients' bodies are functioning. By choosing this type of work you can avoid handling animals and much of the wet work, which carry a risk of asthma and eczema.

If you suffer from asthma or eczema or did so when you were little (atopic eczema), think carefully about the type of work you want to do if you do decide to become a biomedical analyst.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about allergy and eczema when working as a boimedical analyst, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.