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Five incidents involving chemical waste management have occurred between December 2003 and August 2004. In all of these cases, acidic materials were mixed with organic materials causing either a catastrophic explosion or sprayed chemicals throughout the fume hood. Many of these incidents would have been prevented if researchers labeled waste containers properly and/or checked labels prior to the addition of waste materials. Researchers should also immediately contact DEHS at x8475, or 911 after hours, if incompatible materials are added to a waste container or if an unexpected reaction occurs.
Because of the number of acidic waste container incidents, all liquid corrosive chemical waste must be stored and accumulated in explosion-proof Justrite Safety Containers for Waste Disposal. These containers are constructed of white high density polyethylene and either 2-gallons or 5-gallons in size. The containers vent under emergency conditions (3 - 5 p.s.i.), have stainless steel hardware and Teflon gaskets
Effective January 1, 2005 all corrosive waste must be managed in these containers. DEHS will not accept any chemical waste (except waste reagent grade chemicals) in glass or plastic-coated glass containers. Labs are responsible for purchasing an adequate supply of containers to hold their chemical waste and replacing them as they fail.
Questions regarding chemical waste issues may be addressed to Michael Wayock or call 831-8288.