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Introduction
Radioisotope Source Possession and Use Requirements
Purchase, Receipt, and Transfer of Radioisotopes
Personnel Radiation Monitoring
Management of Radioisotope Laboratory and Use Area
Radioactive Waste Disposal Procedure
Radioactive Waste Disposal Chart
Mopping or Waxing of Radioisotope Use Areas
Radiation Emergencies
Radiation Safety Training
Policy on Declared Pregnant Radiation Workers
Policy on Eating and Drinking in the Laboratory
Radiation Protection Forms

X-Ray Safety
UMD-Radiation Protection Advisory Committee (RPAC)
Download this Manual in Printable (PDF) Format
Policy For Termination of Laboratory use of Hazardous Materials
10 CFR, Part 20: Protection Against Radiation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Haz. Waste Mgt
 

Proper Radioactive Waste
Segregation, Collection and Disposal Procedures


In order to: (1) minimize the volume of radioactive waste generated at the laboratory level, (2)reduce the toxicity of the waste, and associated disposal cost, and (3) eliminate the generation of mixed waste and prevent pollution, The RPD has initiated the following waste minimization and segregation strategies.   In order for these strategies to succeed, it is necessary that all authorized Permit Holders, and lab personnel implement them to the fullest extent possible.

I. Waste Segregation

  1. Segregate long-lived radioisotopes (greater than 90-day half-life) from short-lived radioisotopes (less than 90-day half-life).
  2. Segregate all short half-life beta emitters from all short half-life gamma emitters, and dispose of into separate waste containers. (See Table I for list of commonly used gamma and beta emmiters).
  3. Segregate I-125 from all other short half-life gamma emitting radioisotopes and dispose of into a separate container.
  4. If long half-life radioisotopes cannot be separated from short half-life radioisotopes then the waste must always be disposed of into the long half-life waste container.
  5. Segregate H-3 and C-14 from all other long half-life radioisotopes and dispose of into separate waste containers.

    It is important to have long half-life and short half-life radioactive waste containers located in separate areas within a lab to prevent mixing of long and short half- life radioactive wastes.
II. Mixed Waste Minimization and Segregation
  • Definition:
  • [MIXED WASTES] are defined as any waste that contains a radioactive material in combination with a hazardous chemical waste.   Mixed waste is subject to dual (EPA,NRC) regulatory requirements, and presents special handling and disposal problems for lab and Environmental Health and Safety personnel.   In addition, mixed waste disposal options are expensive and in some cases, there are no current disposal options.

  • Minimization of mixed waste
  • can be achieved by modifying lab processes, improving operations, or using substitute material.
    1. Avoid the use of hazardous chemicals in conjunction with radioactive materials.  In particular, avoid the use of chlorinated organic solvents such as chloroform.
      (See Table II for a list of prohibited chemicals).

    2. Do not combine "Mixed Waste" with any other radioactive waste. Damping a small amount of mixed waste into a container of aqueous radioactive waste, will render the combination a mixed waste.

    3. Never combine two different types of Mixed wastes together. Different types of chemicals may react producing extremely toxic and radioactive vapors or byproducts.

    4. If you cannot avoid using chemicals, MINIMIZE the volume of mixed waste you generate by using small quantities per experiment, at concentrations lower than the MAC, and dispose of in a separate liquid radioactive waste container.

    5. If The concentrations of the Chemicals used are greater than the "MAC", you must contact the RPD 612-625-1682 to discuss alternative procedures for mixed waste minimization.   See Table III for a list of commonly used chemicals and corresponding Maximum Allowable Concentrations (MAC=[Chemical Volume]/[Total Volume]).

    6. Avoid the use of flammable solvent-based scintillation cocktails, use only environmentally safe/biodegradable scintillation cocktails.   Solvent based cocktails are considered hazardous waste and therfore their use will increase the volume of mixed waste.

    7. Do not mix solvent based scintillation vials with biodegradable ones, always collect in separate containers.

    8. Never mix any of the following: in the Dry Solid waste container

      • Animals, parts of animals, or tissue samples.
      • Liquid scintillation vials,
      • Stock vials,
      • Sharps,
      • Any amount of liquid.
      • Lead (This item is collected separately. Contact EHSO for pick-up. 7273),
      • Solid radioactive biohazardous waste, this must be autoclaved prior to disposal.

III.  Waste Collection and Disposal

  1. Collect radioactive wastes in separate approved radioactive waste containers Only. See Radioactive Waste Disposal Chart, for specific container requirements and and types of waste per separate containers.   Never flush radioactive waste down the drain, no matter the activity.

  2. Keep inventories on waste isotopes you place per container, Use the following Radioactive Waste Inventory Form. Inventorying the waste will be of great help when filling out your quarterly reports, and waste disposal request forms. For instruction on how to fill out the Waste inventory form, go to: http://www.d.umn.edu/ehso/Radiation/wasteins.html

  3. Prior to radioactive waste pick up by a UMD Environmental Health and Safety representative, all wastes must be packaged and labeled properly according to the following instructions
    1. Solid Waste (Short and Long Half-Life)
    2. Liquid Waste (Aqueous, Flammable, Short and Long Half-Life)
      • Label container with appropriate UMD Liquid Waste Container Label
      • Complete appropriate UMD Radioactive Waste Collection Request Form, and list all radioisotopes and corresponding activities in millicuries (mci) contained in each container.
      • Do not overfill liquid waste container, Jar must be only 3/4 full, and closed shut at the time of pick up.

      • For Flammable (hazardous and radioactive) liquid waste you must also fill out and label the container with the Hazardous Waste disposal form. Haz-Waste disposal Forms can be obtained by calling 6764.

    3. Scintllation liquid Waste
      • Label container with appropriate UMD Scintillation Waste Container Label
      • Complete appropriate UMD Radioactive Waste Collection Request Form, and list all radioisotopes and corresponding activities in millicuries (mci) contained in each container.
      • For Flammable (hazardous and radioactive) scintillation liquid waste you must also fill out and label the container with the Hazardous Waste disposal form. Haz-Waste disposal Forms can be obtained by calling 6764.
      • Indicate name of chemical compund used, and concentrations per vial on both hazardous waste disposal form and radiactive waste collection form, as well as number of vials.
      • Flammable scintillation vials must packaged for disposal in their original box. Make sure vials are upright, and closed tightly to avoid spillage and box contamination

    4. Stock vials
      • Stock vials must be segregated into short half-life (<90day) and long half-life (>90day) waste streams and collected in separate waste containers. When disposing of a stock vial, put it back into its original shipping container (sometimes known as a pig) and place it into a the disposal box or container.
      • Label container with appropriate UMD Stock Vial Container Label
      • Complete appropriate UMD Radioactive Waste Collection Request Form, and list all radioisotopes and corresponding activities in millicuries (mci) per each container.

    5. Animal Waste
      • Segregate animal carcass into short and long half-life waste streams, and collect in separate waste containers.
      • Before placing animal carcass in the disposal box, Animal Carcass must be in a transparent or translucent double bag. Do not individually wrap animal carcasses and do not place paper, gauze pads, etc. in the bag with the carcasses. The double bag must be sealed and labeled with a radiation caution label which includes the name of the approved user, the number and type of animal carcasses, the radioisotopes and total activity of each radioisotope in millicuries (mci) per carcass.
      • Label container with appropriate UMD Animal waste Container Label
      • Complete appropriate UMD Radioactive Waste Collection Request Form, and list all radioisotopes and corresponding activities in millicuries (mci) per each carcass.
      • The bagged carcass must be stored/frozen in the laboratory until pick up by Environmental Health and Safety Office personnel.


    6. Radiactive Sharps
      Sharps means: discarded items that can induce subdermal inoculation of infectious agents, including needles, scalpel blades, Pasteur pipettes, broken glass and other sharp items derived from human or animal patient care, laboratories and research facilities. Disposal procedure:

      • All sharps are required to be disposed of into a puncture resistant sharps disposal container available from the University Stores catalog.
      • Label all radioactive sharps containers with "Caution Radioactive Material" tape to avoid mixing with non-radioactive sharps.
      • Do not over fill sharps containers.
      • Disposal containers must be shut (i.e. capped or tapped) prior to being collected and transported.
      • Do not place sharps containers inside of a solid radioactive waste container.
      • Once a sharps container is full you must fill out a sharps container label, attach it to the container and submit a UMD Radioactive Waste Collection Request Form to have the container removed from your lab.
    Note:   Radioactive wastes will not be removed from your laboratory unless the above requirement are satisfied, correct information is provided, and forms are properly completed.

    For Waste Pick up, send or fax completed UMD Radioactive Waste Collection Request Form to:

        Andrew Kimball
        19 DADB
        Fax: 726-8127
     
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