If more information is sought regarding a
specific waste that is not listed in this page, please consult the MPCA
Specific Waste Listing and corresponding disposal/management FACT SHEET
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the
University of Minnesota DEHS prohibit the disposal of waste batteries
in the trash. Batteries must be disposed of as either hazardous waste
or industrial solid waste.
Dry Cell and Button Batteries
All batteries require special collection and
processing because of their heavy metal content. Alkaline and carbon
zinc batteries from businesses are not allowed to go into solid waste
streams which will be incinerated.
If you have any questions about battery collection
or battery pick-up, or To request a waste battery collection container,
please call the UMD Environmental Health and Safety Office at
726-6764, or email:email@example.com,
The container comes labeled with
instructions. Batteries Collection containers are emptied once a
month. A copy of the battery container label is included here if you need one. If
you are not using one of the pre-labeled containers, attach a copy of
this label to the container you are using.
If you know the specific type of batteries you are
collecting, use that information to complete the waste packing form and
send your batteries as hazardous waste. For mixed batteries, use the
"mixed dry cell batteries" information to complete the form:
||MERCURY OXIDE BATTERIES
||SILVER OXIDE BATTERIES
||LEAD ACID GEL CELL BATT.
||MIXED DRY CELL BATTERIES
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead-acid batteries (automotive batteries) must be
stored in a curbed, impermeable-surface storage area. Secondary
containment trays are available through University Stores, (612)
624-4878, part no. CX18999. Prior to collection by the Chemical Waste
Program, these batteries should be individually packaged upright in a
sturdy plastic-lined box.
Use the following codes for lead acid batteries on
the waste packing form:
||LEAD ACID BATTERIES
| Electronic Equipment
Most electronic equipment and appliances contain a variety of hazardous
substances and toxic metals such as lead, nickel, mercury, cadmium,
polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) oils, freons, Radioactive materials, and
The existence of such materials in electronic equipment, render it
hazardous waste by federal and state regulations. Therefore, prohibited
from being disposed in the solid waste (trash), and must be managed
Before you dispose of electronic equipment, and if
the equipment still functions properly, put a piece of tape on the
equipment and write on the tape the word "Works," otherwise mark the
tape with the words "Does Not Work."contact other University
departments to see if they can use the equipment. If other
departments can use the equipment, notify University Inventory Services
of the transfer. If no University department can use the
equipment, contact University Inventory Services to have them delete
the equipment from the inventory system. The equipment should then be
collected by Facilities Management department for shipment to a state licensed recycler.
At the moment, the University sends its electronic
waste to Asset
If you have large amounts of electronic equipment,
it should be collected/ packaged in Gaylord boxes,
If you have questions or to request a pick up or a Gaylord box, call:
Environmental Health and Safety Office at 726-6764.
Note: No hazardous chemicals should be sent
or given to a recycler, or included with electronic equipment.
Examples of Electronic Equipment
Stereos and components
Video cassette recorders
Gas Containers/Aerosol Cans
Due to lack of disposal options and outlets for
waste gas cylinders, disposal of these items presents a special problem
for the Chemical Waste Program. The few disposal companies which accept
gas cylinders generally require certification that the cylinders are
equipped with working valves and the contents of the cylinders are
The Chemical Waste Program has two possible
disposal options - a disposal company may:
vent the cylinder into a chemical waste
incinerator or into the flow of another chemical treatment process; or
recapture the cylinder contents and recycle
Both of these options cost from $300 to $10,000
per cylinder depending on size and contents. Therefore, all purchase
orders for new cylinders must state that the vendor will accept the
return of the empty or partially empty cylinder from the University.
It is very important that users of gas cylinders
prevent damage to the cylinders and valves and keep the cylinders
properly labeled as to their contents. It is very expensive to analyze
an unknown cylinder and even more expensive to transfer the contents of
a damaged cylinder into a DOT approved cylinder.
Arrangements should be made at the time of
purchase for return of the cylinders.
Compressed gas cylinders should be submitted for
collection according to the following procedures:
Propane and Butane Containers
Return gas cylinders, whether empty or
partially filled, to the manufacturer or distributor through which they
were purchased. If the manufacturer will not accept the cylinders for
disposal, they should be purchased through another supplier. If
originally purchased through the University storehouse, contact the
University Stores at (612) 624-2094 to make arrangements for return of
Use up all of the gas in a cylinder to render
it empty if at all possible. Empty cylinders should be clearly marked
as empty to avoid confusion when it comes to return or disposal of the
cylinder. Do not vent full or partially used cylinders into fume hoods
as a means of disposal.
In the event it is not possible to return the
cylinders as specified above, submit the cylinders for waste pickup by
the Chemical Waste Program following normal disposal procedures. Make
sure the cylinders are clearly marked as to contents and valves are
properly sealed and capped.
Empty disposable propane and butane bottles should
be submitted for waste collection by the Chemical Waste Program in
accordance with normal University hazardous waste disposal procedures.
Dispose of aerosol cans according to the following
Chemical products in aerosol cans should be
used up in their intended manner whenever possible. When aerosol cans
are empty (at atmospheric pressure), they may be disposed of in the
If the aerosol can is not empty, submit for
waste collection by the Chemical Waste Program. Note that in packaging,
the cans should stand upright in the box and be capped to prevent the
release of contents. If the ingredients of the can are known, list them
on the waste form with the respective percent composition. If a
commercial product, list company name, location and any hazard
information listed on the can.
| Controlled Substances
Substances registered with the Drug Enforcement
Agency (DEA) should be sent to the Chemical Waste Program for proper
disposal. A list of the controlled substances most commonly found in
research and clinical labs at the University are listed in this
Guidebook (see Table 5-1).
All registrants transferring controlled substances
must complete a Controlled
Substance Disposal Form. One One Controlled Substance Disposal Form
should be prepared for each package of substances submitted for
transfer. It is important to include the DEA Registrant number. If you
do not have one, indicate "unknown" or "abandoned" in the box. Include
your department. building and room number in the "From" section. Mail
or fax one copy of the completed Controlled Substance Disposal Form to
DEHS. The mailing address is:
University of Minnesota - TCEM
501 23rd Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Attn. Jon Wentworth
Retain one copy of Disposal Form for your records.
DEHS will schedule the transfer of the controlled substances. DEHS will
complete a Form 222 for Schedule II substances submitted for transfer.
Prior to transfer, the authorized transporter
(DEHS staff) will verify that the inventory of controlled substance
containers agrees with the Disposal Form. Both the registrant and
transporter will sign and date the Disposal Form. A copy of the
document with two signatures will be left with the registrant. This
receipt should be stored with your CS files. The controlled substances
will be transported to and stored at the Thompson Center for
Environmental Management (TCEM). Periodically EHS will arrange for
witnessed destruction of the controlled substances. This destruction
will be documented on the EHS copy of the Disposal Form and the
Disposal Forms will be filed at TCEM.
Researchers who have excess controlled substances
in syringes after a research procedure are required to collect the
excess in a slurry bottle and document the contents of the slurry
bottle on a Controlled
Substance Disposal Form. Use the same procedure as above to
In order to obtain a slurry bottle, contact
Hazardous Waste 218-726-6764. Indicate your name, department, phone
number, location (building and room number) and Campus Mail address to
facilitate the delivery.
Typical Controlled Substances
Ethidium bromide (EtBr) is a powerful mutagen
widely used in biochemical research laboratories for visualizing
nucleic acids. The compound forms fluorescent complexes by
intercalation and these compounds are readily visible under ultraviolet
(UV) light. EtBr is generally used in the laboratory dissolved in water
or buffer solutions.
Since EtBr is so widely used, proper management of
EtBr containing waste and EtBr contaminated materials is important.
Below are the procedures to be followed for EtBr containing waste and
EtBr contaminated materials:
of Ethidium Bromide or Cesium Chloride/Ethidium Bromide
Aqueous solutions of less than 10 mg/L EtBr may be
disposed of in the sanitary sewer.
Aqueous solutions of more than 10 mg/L EtBr must
first be treated before they are disposed of in the sanitary sewer or
they may be sent to the Chemical Waste Program. Aqueous solutions can
be deactivated by either the Lunn
and Sansone method or the Armour method and then disposed of in the
sanitary sewer. The Lunn and Sansone method degrades EtBr by reaction
with sodium nitrite and hypophosphorous acid in aqueous solution. The
Armour method degrades EtBr with household bleach.
Alternatively, the solution can be filtered
through an EtBr filter. While wearing proper protective equipment, the
paper carbon filter disk containing EtBr must be removed from the
filter using a forceps and then processed through the University of
Minnesota Chemical Waste Program. The remaining polypropylene filter
unit can be rinsed with bleach, and disposed of as solid waste.
Note: Waste solutions greater than 10 mg/L
must not be diluted and then disposed of by sewer under this policy.
Dilution as a partial or complete substitute for pretreatment before
discharge in a public sewer is prohibited by the Metropolitan Council
Environmental Services (Waste Discharge Rules for the Metropolitan
Disposal System, Article IV, Section 404.00).
Agarose Gels Containing Ethidium Bromide
Acrylamide and agarose gels containing less than
10 mg/L EtBr can be disposed of in the trash. Gels that are trashed
should be put in double lined trash bags and labeled as nonhazardous.
Acrylamide and agarose gels containing more than
10 mg/L EtBr must be processed through the University of Minnesota
Chemical Waste Program.
of Ethidium Bromide
Because alcohols are flammable, all alcohol
solutions containing EtBr should be processed as hazardous waste
through the University of Minnesota Chemical Waste Program.
Contaminated with Ethidium Bromide
Contaminated labware includes needles, disposable
gloves, pipettes, test tubes, etc. that are contaminated with EtBr.
Depending on the type of waste that you generate, follow the procedures
Needles, scalpels, Pasteur pipettes and other
sharps contaminated with EtBr should be disposed of directly into a
Volumetric or transfer pipettes, and other
disposable glassware contaminated with EtBr should be disposed of in a
waste container designated for glass disposal. Grossly contaminated
(visibly contaminated) glassware should be washed with bleach before
disposal in the designated container.
Test tubes and centrifuge tubes contaminated
with EtBr should first be emptied, with the liquid disposed of
according to the procedures given above. Empty tubes can then be
disposed of in the trash. Grossly contaminated (visibly contaminated)
tubes should be washed with bleach prior to disposal.
Laboratory equipment (e.g. transilluminators,
laboratory floors and counter tops, etc.) contaminated with aqueous
solutions of more than 10 mg/L EtBr should be decontaminated using the Lunn and Sansone method for
decontamination of equipment contaminated with EtBr. This is
done by scrubbing the contaminated lab equipment with paper towels
soaked in a freshly prepared aqueous solution of sodium nitrite and
hypophosphorous acid while wearing the proper protective equipment. The
towels are then decontaminated in the decontamination solution before
disposal in the trash.
Most other disposable labware (e.g. sample
vials, disposable beakers, etc.) contaminated with EtBr may be disposed
of in the normal trash. Grossly contaminated (visibly contaminated)
disposable labware should be washed with bleach prior to disposal.
Small spills (less than 0.5 L) of aqueous
solutions of more than 10 mg/L EtBr and the resulting contaminated lab
equipment can be decontaminated using the Lunn and Sansone method for decontamination
of equipment contaminated with EtBr. The EtBr is degraded by wiping the
surface with paper towels soaked in a freshly prepared decontamination
solution (an aqueous solution of sodium nitrite and hypophosphorous
acid) while wearing the proper protective equipment.
All spills containing Ethidium Bromide should be
reported to EHS at (612) 626-6002.
Lunn and Sansone
Ethidium Bromide Destruction Method (Lunn, George, and
Sansone, Eric B. 1994. Destruction of Hazardous Chemicals in the
Laboratory. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. pp. 185.)
Bromide Destruction Method
Carry out the following steps in a fume hood
and follow all laboratory safety precautions, including proper
Dilute solutions containing EtBr to
concentration <0.05% w/v (50mg/100mL).
For each 100mL of EtBr solution add 20mL of
fresh 5% hypophosphorous acid and 12mL of fresh 0.5M sodium nitrite
solution. Check that the pH of the solution is <3.0. Stir briefly.
After reacting for at least 20 hours,
neutralize with sodium bicarbonate, then rinse the solution down the
sanitary sewer with water.
(Armour, Margaret-Ann. 1994. Personal
(Kaufman, James A. ed. 1990. Waste Disposal in Academic
Institutions. Lewis Publishers. pp. 127-8)
Lunn and Sansone
Method for the Decontamination of Equipment Contaminated with Ethidium
Carry out the following steps in a fume hood
and follow all laboratory safety precautions, including proper
Dilute solutions containing EtBr to
concentration <0.034% w/v (34mg/100mL).
Add 10mL of fresh bleach for every 1mg EtBr.
Stir at room temperature for at least 4 hours.
The EtBr is converted to the physiologically
inactive product 2-carboxybenzophenone, and the solution should then be
rinsed down the sanitary sewer with water.
(Lunn, George, and Sansone, Eric B. 1994. Destruction
of Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Before decontamination, deenergize all
electrical equipment and wear the appropriate protective equipment.
The decontamination solution is prepared by
adding 20mL of 50% hypophosphorous acid to a solution of 2g of sodium
nitrite in 300mL of water.
Scrub the contaminated surface or equipment
with a paper towel soaked in the freshly prepared decontamination
solution. Scrub another five times with paper towels soaked in the
freshly prepared decontamination solution, using a fresh towel each
Place all the used towels in a large container
and soak them in fresh decontamination solution for at least one hour.
Neutralize used decontamination solution and
towels with sodium bicarbonate. The towels can then be discarded in the
trash, and the solution may be rinsed down the sanitary sewer with
Note: A small amount of nitrogen dioxide
may be given off when the decontamination solution is initially mixed,
so the procedure should be carried out in a chemical fume hood.
Intensity Discharge (HID), and UV Germicidal Lamps
Fluorescent, high intensity discharge (HID), and UV
germicidal lamps are considered a hazardous waste and must be collected
intact for proper disposal or recycling. The University of Minnesota
recycles these lamps to provide raw materials for new products and,
most importantly, to prevent mercury from contaminating the environment.
Fluorescent, high intensity discharge (HID), and UV
germicidal lamps must be collected in containers that protect the lamps
during collection and transportation. The original shipping container
is the preferred collection package for spent lamps. Remove any
cardboard end pieces to assure that lamps fit in the box. Do not put
the individual lamp sleeves on the spent lamps. The Chemical
Also, EHSO have boxes available for packaging standard 4 foot and 8
foot length fluorescent lamps. To order a packing box, call 726-6764.
Mercury vapor lamps and other odd shaped fluorescent
tubes Shorter than 4 feet lamps can be packaged in any sturdy box. In
the case of smaller bulbs, additional packing materials may need to be
added to prevent breakage.
Remove sleeves and tape from spent lamps when packing
for waste collection. Taping lamps together increases the chance of
breakage during the recycling process.
Properly mark the box with the words "Hazardous Waste."
The contents, start date, number and size of lamps must be listed on
Facilities Management personnel may choose to post the
area in which the bulbs and tubes are collected with the words
"Hazardous Waste - collection site for fluorescent, HID and UV
germicidal lamps." This method does not require that each box be
If you happen to break fluorescent, HID, or UV
germicidal lamps, collect the broken glass, metal or plastic as a
hazardous waste. When fluorescent lamps and HIDs are broken, mercury is
released to the environment, but some mercury still remains on the
surfaces of the glass, phosphor and the metal or plastic. This debris
must be collected as hazardous waste and the container sealed. The
container must be properly labeled with the words "Hazardous Waste,"
the contents listed as "broken fluorescent lamps" with the start date
It costs the University more to have broken lamps
processed than intact lamps, but collection of the broken lamps helps
keep mercury releases to the environment at a minimum.
Once the box is full, properly packed and sealed, arrange for
collection. If you generate a large number of lamps and are located at
an off-campus location, call EHSO at 726-6764 to arrange for collection.
Labware and empty chemical containers may hold residues which are
hazardous. Therefore, special precautions must be taken before
recycling these items. Procedures
Empty chemical containers which did not contain
pesticides, toxic, or acutely toxic (P-list EPA waste code, found in
Registry) may be disposed in the trash. Empty glass bottles
should be rinsed to remove residual chemicals, air dried, placed in a
separate outer container (e.g. cardboard box or plastic pail) and
labeled as "nonhazardous waste containing (broken) glass."
Laboratories may recycle rinsed flint glass containers
(not labeled as Pyrex, Kimax, etc.) with the lids or caps removed
through the University Recycling Program. For empty solvent bottles
intended for recycling, uncap the container, rinse with water, remove
labels or mark as "empty," and place it in a fume hood to air dry.
Collect any residual solvent from containers as hazardous waste prior
Contact the Chemical Recycling Program at 726-6764 to
recycle borosilicate (Pyrex or Kimax) containers and laboratory
glassware such as test tubes, flasks, pipets, etc.
Empty bottles which originally contained pesticides or
ingredients considered acutely toxic by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency may be disposed of or recycled after triple rinsing.
Acutely toxic chemicals can be identified by an EPA# which begins with
"P" listed in the Chemical
Rinse bottles that contained pesticides, heavy metals
(except mercury) or acutely toxic chemicals three times with 10% of the
bottle volume of an appropriate solvent which is capable of removing
the chemical. The rinsate must be collected as hazardous waste.
Pesticides rinsates should be land applied when possible per EPA
regulations or disposed of as hazardous waste.
If highly toxic residue remains on the labware, contact
the UMD environmental Health and Safety Office EHSO at 726-6764 to
determine the appropriate route of disposal. It may be necessary to
dispose of the contaminated labware as hazardous waste. Complete a
waste packing form for the contaminated labware. Label as "Lab ware (or
glassware) contaminated with ______" (state name of highly toxic
residue). These containers with residues are not acceptable for
recycling, but they may be used to collect compatible hazardous waste.
These containers must be relabeled appropriately.
Mercury Contaminated Lab ware must be collected as
Chemicals Mixed with
Radioactive and/or Biological Materials
Mixed waste is any waste that contains both
EPA-regulated chemical waste and radioactive isotopes. These wastes are
difficult and costly for the University to dispose of and should be
generated only when necessary and in prudent amounts. As hazardous and
radioactive wastes are regulated under separate jurisdictions (EPA and
NRC respectively), and as the treatment goals are different for each
jurisdiction, management of these waste streams can be complicated.
For the generator of mixed waste, the first strategy is
minimization and segregation so that the least amount of mixed waste is
produced. Refer to Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling
and Disposal of Chemicals, National Research Council, 1995, pages
150-160 for techniques to minimize mixed waste generation.
Once generated, mixed waste needs to be reported to and co-managed by
both the Chemical Waste and the Radiation Protection Programs. Follow
the procedures in the UMD Radiation
| Peroxide-Forming Chemicals
Some common laboratory chemicals can form
peroxides on exposure to air. Peroxides are shock-sensitive and can be
violently explosive in concentrated form or as solids. Others can
result in rapid polymerization and can initiate a runaway, explosive
reaction. The most commonly used peroxide-forming chemicals are:
diethyl ether (ethyl ether), tetrahydrofuran (THF), dioxane. Isopropyl
ether (diisopropyl ether) is a severe peroxide hazard. Organic
peroxides are another class of compounds with unusual stability
problems and as such are one of the most hazardous class of chemicals
normally handled in the laboratory. Organic peroxides are listed in the
Registry with "12" as the first two digits of the DDC number.
Due to the unstable nature of organic peroxides,
it is necessary to contact the UMD EHSO at 726-6764 when discarding these
The best way to manage chemicals that have the
potential for forming shock sensitive peroxides is to purchase only the
quantity that is required in a one month period. Store the material in
a tightly closed, properly labeled container in a flammable storage
cabinet, away from flames, heat, sources of ignition, light, oxidizers
and oxidizing acids.
Caution: All peroxidizable compounds should
be stored away from heat and light. They should be protected from
physical damage and ignition sources.
When peroxide-forming chemicals reach their
expiration date, it is recommended that you process the chemicals for
waste collection. If peroxide concentrations are greater than 80 ppm,
call the Env. Health and Safety Office at 726-6764 (see Testing Procedure section below).
If a peroxide forming chemical is older than its
expiration date or is stored longer than the time limits (see Table 5-2),
follow these procedures:
Prior to moving the container, examine it.
Call our office at 726-6764 if crystals are visible
in the chemical solution or if crystals are on or in the container.
Closely examine the container near the cap for the presence of
crystals. Some peroxide crystals in solution have a very fine, spun
Do not test these compounds for peroxides;
let Chemical Waste Program personnel manage these containers.
Call the Chemical Waste Program if the
container has a metal screw cap. Do not open the container. Metal
Call the Chemical Waste Program if the
container has been stored longer than two years.
Leave the container where it was found until
Chemical Waste Program staff arrive:
If the container was picked up, gently put it down
in a safe place. Do not shake the container or place it near sources of
The following concentration guidelines apply:
r ignition. Tape-off the area containing the
potentially shock sensitive compound and warn laboratory personnel of
Routinely test the chemical on a monthly basis,
after its expiration date, for peroxide formation.
If you determine the container is safe to open:
Test the peroxide-forming chemical with a
commercial test strip. Commercial test strips have a test range of 0.5
to 50 ppm (mg/L) or 3 to 100 ppm. If peroxides are greater than the
concentration range measured by the test strip, a serial dilution with
deionized water is necessary to determine a semi-quantitative
concentration of peroxides.
|Less than 80 ppm peroxides
||Solution is okay for use
|80 ppm to 400 ppm
||Call the Chemical Waste Program for
packaging and removal
|Greater than 400 ppm
||Call the Chemical Waste Program, who will
contact the Bomb Squad
Alternate Peroxide Test:
The procedure listed below only indicates the
presence of peroxides and does not indicate their concentration.
To 10 ml of a 20 percent aqueous solution of the
- Small spatula of sodium iodide or
- Five ml of distilled water
- Five ml of organic solvent (methanol
- A few drops of concentrated
hydrochloric or sulfuric acid
An instant color change indicates the presence
- yellow to faint orange = negligible
amount of peroxides
- purple to dark violet or brown =
If this procedure indicates a dark violet or brown
color, call the Chemical Waste Program for packaging and removal.
If any peroxides are detected, a "dash" of
butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT) should be added to the container to
inhibit further peroxidation. Chemicals containing less than 80 ppm
peroxides should have the BHT added, unless it is determined that the
inhibitor will adversely affect experimental work.
A warning label should be affixed to all
containers of peroxidizable compounds, as illustrated below, to
indicate the date of receipt and the date the container was first
Date Opened ___________
or test within 1 / 3 / 6 months after opening
The UMD Env. Health and Office will have the Bomb
Squad remove any containers of peroxide forming chemicals if:
- the chemical has a peroxide
concentration of greater than 400 ppm,
- the container has crystals in or on
- the container is metal with a metal
- the chemical is suspected to be
shock-sensitive due to its age.
Table 5-2 Common
Severe Peroxide Hazard on
Storage with Exposure to Air
Discard within 3
||Sodium amide (sodamide)
chloride (1,1 dichloroethylene)
Peroxide Hazard on Concentration
Do Not Distill or Evaporate Without First Testing for the Presence of
Discard or test for peroxides after 6 months
diethyl acetal (acetal)
dimethyl ether (glyme)
||Ethylene glycol ether acetates
||Ethylene glycol ether acetates
||Methyl isobutyl ketone
|Diethyl ether (ether)
|Diethylene glycol dimethyl
Hazard of Rapid Polymerization Initiated by Internally Formed Peroxides
Discard or test for peroxides after 6 months
Discard after 12
| Pesticides, Experimental
The University has several researchers who use
experimental pesticides in their work. These experimental pesticides
are only problematic as hazardous waste if the producer of the
pesticide will not provide enough information about the formulation to
allow proper categorization for disposal. In this situation, the
Chemical Waste Program must test the pesticide and dispose of it as if
it were an unknown. This is costly and also gives rise to some safety
issues since the true hazards of the material are not fully known for
handling and packaging purposes.
If you have any concerns regarding the stability
of a chemical you wish to test, contact the Chemical Waste Program at
(612) 626-6002 prior to testing.
When planning to accept experimental pesticides
for a research project, request that the producer agree to accept any
residuals once the project is completed. The researcher should return
the residuals in a timely manner.
If the producer will not accept the residuals,
request the active ingredient and carrier information which would
facilitate disposal. With this information, the waste may be prepared
for disposal following normal procedures.
If the producer has not agreed to accept the
residuals or provide adequate information about the pesticide, the
material will need to be processed as an unknown. Call the our office
at 726-6764 for assistance.
| Photo Fixer
To assist with waste minimization efforts, spent
photo fixer is collected as hazardous waste from University generators
and the silver reclaimed. For this reason, spent photo fixer is
collected and disposed of separately from other photographic waste.
Collect fixer in appropriate containers
Do not fill containers to the top.
Leave about 3 inches at the top of the container to facilitate the
recovery process. Containers will not be collected if overfilled.
Place the hazardous waste label on the
container. Record the contents, accumulation start date (the
first day spent fixer is placed in the container), department name, and
the name of a contact person.
Do not add other photo chemicals to
the waste fixer container.
Fill out a waste packing form for photo fixer
and submit to CWP.
Picric acid (2,4,-trinitrophenol) is common in
laboratories. It is normally sold containing 10 to 15% water in a
plastic-capped glass container and, in this state, is relatively safe
to handle. Dry Picric acid, however, can explode when exposed to
friction, shock, or sudden heating. Moreover, Picric acid can form
salts on contact with metals, and heavy metal picrates are highly
sensitive to detonation.
If you have relatively fresh Picric acid which is
clearly still wetted, simply follow the instructions for regular
CAUTION: Do not attempt to open a container
of dry Picric acid!
If you have Picric acid that appears to be dried
out or in a metal-capped container, call UMD EHSO at 726-6764. A
technician will come to your laboratory to assess the condition of the
Picric acid and perform the necessary steps to remove the container
from your laboratory. This will entail attempting to wet the Picric
acid via immersion and/or making arrangements with the local bomb
squad. If successfully wet the container will be processed as regular
| Pyrophoric Chemicals
Listed below are several classes of readily
oxidized chemicals which can ignite spontaneously in air. Pyrophoric
chemicals (within DDC hazard class designations 08 and 09), usually
denoted by `PYR' in comments of the Chemical Registry,
should be stored in tightly closed containers under an inert atmosphere
and any handling of them should be carried out under an inert
atmosphere or liquid as well.
CAUTION: Do not attempt to open a container
of a Pyrophoric chemical!
Due to their highly reactive characteristics,
contact UMD EHSO at 726-6764 for special instructions concerning their
handling and packaging.
Table 5-3 Pyrophoric Chemicals
Grignard reagents, RMgX
Metal alkyls and aryls, RLi, RNa, R3Al, R2Zn, e.g. trimethyl aluminum
Metal carbonyls, such as Ni(CO)4, Fe(CO)5, Co2
Alkali metals such as Na, K
Metal powders, such as Al, Co, Fe, Mg, Mn, Pd, Pt, Ti, Sn, Zn, Zr
Metal hydrides, such as NaH, LiAlH4
Nonmetal hydrides, such as B2H6 and other
boranes, PH3, AsH3
Nonmetal alkyls, such as R3B, R3P, R3As
Some chemicals identified as shock sensitive have
the potential to produce a violent explosion when subjected to shock,
heat or friction, and require water to be added to the chemical before
Table 5-4 Shock-Sensitive Compounds
Acetylenic compounds, especially
polyacetylenes, haloacetylenes, and heavy metal salts of acetylenes
(copper, silver, and mercury salts are particularly sensitive)
Alkyl nitrates, particularly polyol nitrates
such as nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine
Alkyl and acyl nitrites
Amminemetal oxosalts: metal compounds with
coordinated ammonia, hydrazine, or similar nitrogenous donors and ionic
perchlorate, nitrate, permanganate, or other oxidizing group
Azides, including metal, nonmetal, and organic
Chlorite salts of metals, such as AgClO2 and
Diazo compounds such as CH2N2
Diazonium salts, when dry
Fulminates such as mercury fulminate (Hg(CNO)
Hydrogen peroxide becomes increasingly
treacherous as the concentration rises above 30%, forming explosive
mixtures with organic materials and decomposing violently in the
presence of traces of transition metals
N-Halogen compounds such as difluoroamino
compounds and halogen azides
N-Nitro compounds such as N-nitromethylamine,
nitrourea, nitroguanidine, and nitric amide
Oxo salts of nitrogenous bases: perchlorates,
dichromates, nitrates, iodates, chlorites, chlorates, and permanganates
of ammonia, amines, hydroxylamine, guanidine, etc.
Perchlorate salts. Most metal, nonmetal, and
amine perchlorates can be detonated and may undergo violent reaction in
contact with combustible materials.
Peroxides and hydroperoxides, organic
Peroxides (solid) that crystallize from or are
left from evaporation of peroxidizable solvents
Peroxides, transition-metal salts
Picrates, especially salts of transition and
heavy metals, such as Ni, Pb, Hg, Cu, and Zn
Polynitroalkyl compounds such as
tetranitromethane and dinitroacetonitrile
Polynitroaromatic compounds, especially
polynitro hydrocarbons, phenols, and amines (i.e., dinitrotoluene,
trinitrotoluene, and Picric acid.
Note: Shock sensitive compounds have the
letters "SS," "EX," or "TW" listed as the final two digits of their DDC
number (see Appendix I).
For further information on explosive hazards of
chemicals, see the National Research Council's guide, Prudent Practices
in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals, pages 54-57.
Before disposing of laboratory waste, its hazard
class must be identified so that it can be transported and disposed of
safely and in accordance with regulatory standards. For this reason,
and for safety considerations of everyone working in the laboratory, do
not allow containers of unknown chemicals to accumulate. Avoid
generating materials of unknown composition by properly labeling
bottles and boxes with the contents, its associated hazards, and the
date the waste chemical was first added to the container. If required,
inspect the condition of the containers and their labels weekly,
documenting the inspections. If a label appears faded or illegible,
affix a new label to the bottle.
In the event you are unsure of the exact contents
of a chemical mixture or you have an unlabeled compound, you can assist
the Chemical Waste Program in the analysis of the unknown item by
examining the container and the contents and making some initial
observations. Photocopy the Unknown Preliminary Analysis Checklist (see
Appendix II) and complete the form, recording your observations and any
known history of the material as requested.
Retain one copy of the completed form and submit a
second copy to the Chemical Waste Program at the following address:
Att: Andrew Kimball
Env. Health & Safety Office
UMD Env. Health and Safety Office
13 Darland Admin. Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
Or fax to: Att. Andrew Kimball: (218) 726-8127
CAUTION: Wear appropriate protective
clothing and work in a hood when opening containers of unknown
chemicals. Keep in mind the hazards involved in handling potential
pyrophoric and peroxide forming chemicals. Several classes of chemicals
can form explosive peroxides on long exposure to air. Unless it is
known that the compound does not contain an explosive substance, do not
use heroic efforts to open the bottle to examine the contents; it may
be necessary to dispose of the bottle as a potentially explosive
chemical. If you have questions concerning potential explosives,
contact Environmental Health and Safety Office at 726-6764.
| Water-Reactive Chemicals
Certain chemicals react with water to produce heat
and flammable or toxic gases and should be stored and handled so that
they do not come in contact with liquid water or water vapor.
Water reactive compounds, "xxWS" (DDC), such as
those listed below, require special handling. Contact the UMD
Environmental Health and Safety Office at 726-6764 for
segregation and packaging instructions.
Table 5-5: Water-Reactive Chemicals
Alkali metals (sodium, potassium, etc.)
Alkali metal hydrides (lithium aluminum hydride, etc.)
Alkali metal amides
Metal alkyls, such as lithium alkyls and aluminum alkyls
Halides of nonmetals, such as BCl3, BF3, PCl3,
PCl5, SiCl4, S2Cl2
Inorganic acid halides, such as POCl3, SOCl2, SO2Cl2
Anhydrous metal halides, such as AlCl3, TiCl4,
Organic acid halides and anhydrides of low molecular weight, e.g.