Hazardous Waste Procedures/Organic Waste Ledgers

1. It is the responsibility of the laboratory supervisor and lab worker to discard or dispose of chemicals in an environmentally sound manner and to assist with inventory procedures for complying with this Chemical Hygiene Plan.

2. Absolutely NO chemicals or chemical materials are to be put down the drain or placed in the trash without prior authorization. Any sink/sewer or trash disposal of chemicals from the laboratory is the responsibility of the laboratory supervisor in consultation with the Departmental Chemical Hygiene Officer and Campus Chemical Hygiene Officer.

3. Incidentally, NIOSH published a very good "Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards", available via CD from the CDC.  It consists of a number of useful databases, from chemical hazards to a certified safety equipment list, glove compatibility charts, data on toxic chemicals and what to do in case of exposure, etc.

This CD has been installed on the computer in the lab; its icon looks like this: 

These rules apply for all "satellite" hazardous waste (HW) collection locations (i.e., in the laboratory).

1. The volume of HW accumulated at a satellite point must not exceed 55 gallons.

2. Containers must be labeled "Hazardous Waste" and labeled with chemical names of waste (see the sample waste log in the following section).

3. Containers must be labeled with the date upon which accumulation of the waste began.

4. Containers must be compatible with the collected hazardous waste and be sealed with a lid at all times other than when waste is being added.

5. Containers must be inspected weekly by the laboratory supervisors or under the supervision of the laboratory supervisor. The results of such inspections will be recorded on the HW container log sheet.

6. Containers should never be filled more than 70% full!

7. Incompatible wastes must not be mixed nor should the separate waste containers be stored near each other (for example, cyanides must be stored well away from acids).

8. All employees must be trained in proper hazardous waste procedures.

9. Hazardous waste should be handled so as to minimize unplanned releases (for example, HW containers should not be stored in sinks with drains and if possible should be stored within secondary confinement systems).

10. Bulk organic waste (at EIU) consists of solvents and spent reactions that are predominantly solvents and that contain no chemicals of the type listed in the Appendix. Such waste should have a label, available in the Chemistry Department Stockroom, on the container (usually 3 to 5 gallons) denoting that it is "Bulk Organic Waste" and that it is flammable and toxic. A log sheet describing the solvents and quantities should accompany each container. When the hazardous waste container is 70% full, notify personnel in the Chemistry Department Stockroom.

11. No hazardous wastes other than "Bulk Organic Waste" may be combined, whether organic or inorganic, with the bulk waste or with each other. Wastes that are not combined should be labeled specifically as to the chemical or chemicals in the waste (the appropriate hazardous properties should be denoted on the label obtained in the Chemistry Department Stockroom) and personnel in the Chemistry Department Stockroom notified so appropriate disposal may be arranged.

MSDS Sources

     In the course Introduction to Chemical Research (CHM 3500), you learned about Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), which are standardized forms that all chemical manufacturers and suppliers must supply on request and which document the known hazard data concerning any chemical.  These are extremely complete - Aldrich's MSDS for tetrahydrofuran (THF), which is flammable but not overly toxic, runs four pages, single-spaced.

     We have a growing file of the MSDSs for chemicals commonly used in our lab; please feel free to add to it when you order a chemical we have not used before.  Whether or not we have the MSDS for a chemical is noted on the inventory database.

     There are numerous, great sources for free MSDS forms, including sites from Sigma-Aldrich, Univ. of MN, Vermont, and Cornell, which also features a very nice TOSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) database.