CHAPTER 4 - Guidelines for Laboratory Deactivation

Laboratory deactivation is the process whereby chemical, biological, biohazardous, and radiological materials and wastes are removed from a laboratory prior to vacating it. Deactivation also includes the decontamination and/or cleaning of work surfaces, including bench and fumehood surfaces, equipment, whether destined for resale or disposal, and other areas that are potentially contaminated with hazardous agents. Deactivation procedures are necessary to comply with local, state, and federal regulations governing the use and disposal of hazardous materials and to protect the health and safety of construction workers involved in remodeling or reconstruction work.

Following are guidelines that should be used for laboratory deactivation. A complete version of the University policy on laboratory deactivation is provided in the appendices.


Getting Ready & Packing Hazardous Materials


You should begin with copies of your most recent chemical inventory, either a version with materials listed by storage group or a version which lists them alphabetically. These inventories will list the hazard class and the storage group for each material. Copies of your inventory can be requested through your Department office or through EH&S.

* Segregate all hazardous materials when packing so that only compatible materials are packed together.

* Consult your most recent chemical inventory or the on-line chemical safety database for the hazard classes and recommended storage groups for each chemical.

* Only pack chemicals within the same storage group together.

NOTE: MATERIALS IN STORAGE GROUPS E AND F SHOULD NOT BE PACKED WITH PAPER PACKING MATERIALS. If spilled, they will ignite or destroy the paper and/or cardboard packaging. Pack these chemicals carefully in compatible plastic secondary containment trays.

- Styrofoam "popcorn" packaging IS NOT COMPATIBLE packing material.

- Oxidizers should not be packed in or with combustible materials (e.g., cardboard or flammable chemicals).

- Contact EH&S (723-0448) for special instructions for packing and transporting materials in storage group K "Unstable Material." These materials should not be transported without first contacting EH&S.

* Pack containers to avoid breakage or spillage during transportation. For example, use boxes with dividers, separate boxes, or buckets, or surround containers with packing materials. (Note: Use packing material that is compatible with the chemical being packed.)


Hazardous materials should not be transported by private vehicles on campus roads. If vehicle transportation (on or off campus) is necessary, materials must be labeled, packaged and manifested according to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. These requirements must also be followed if any hazardous materials are to be shipped off campus or overseas. For information on DOT requirements, contact EH&S 723-0593.

* Transport chemicals by a method which protects them from the potential dangers posed by the specific item, e.g., use an acid bucket for transporting acids.

* When chemicals are hand-carried, place the container in an outside secondary container, e.g., plastic bucket or acid bucket, to protect container from breakage.

* When chemicals are transported by cart, they should be placed in secondary containers and incompatible materials should be segregated, i.e., do not place flammables and oxidizers in the same secondary container.

* In general, transport only one storage group on a cart at a time. When it is necessary to transport chemicals from several storage groups on the same cart, follow the guidelines in the section on Safe Chemical Storage.

* Carts should be stable, have shelves with lips, and have wheels which are large enough to be able to negotiate uneven surfaces or sudden stops. Carts with pneumatic tires are preferable for use on uneven surfaces.

* Gas Cylinders: Consult the movers (if a moving company is used) OR arrange for moving cylinders with the original vendors OR use appropriate gas cylinder carts.

- NOTE: Gas cylinders MUST BE SCAPED before being moved.

* See Radioactive Materials section below if transporting radioactive materials, or contact Health Physics (723-3201).

* See Biological and Biohazardous Materials section below if transporting biological or biohazardous materials.

Additional Deactivation Procedures


* Using appropriate materials and techniques, clean and/or decontaminate all surfaces and equipment where chemicals, radiological materials, or biological materials have been used. This includes bench tops, equipment, and interior surfaces of fume hoods.

* NOTE: See the following Biohazardous and Radiological Materials sections for decontamination guidelines for these materials. Refer to the Biosafety Manual or the Radiation Protection Manual for specific decontamination techniques and materials.

- Flush all drain pipes serving the lab with tap water for two minutes after all other deactivation procedures have been completed. Special treatment of the drain plumbing serving sinks is not required.


* Do not transport chemical wastes. Arrange for waste pick-up before leaving the labs/rooms which you are vacating.

* Submit chemical waste pick-up requests to the EH&S Chemical Waste Program (ESF, MC: 8007). For large pick-ups (e.g., more than 100 containers), submit the pick-up request AT LEAST 45 DAYS before the lab is vacated.

* Pick-up requests (an BHS-101 form or an SU-13 form may be used) must include a complete inventory of ALL chemicals which are being disposed of.

* Waste containers should be placed in secondary containment and segregated into compatible groups as you would for all hazardous materials.

* Each container must have a properly completed hazardous waste label attached.

- Waste tags are available from your department office or EH&S (723-0448).

- Consult the "Hazardous Chemical Waste Management Reference guide for Labs"


Waste containers without labels will NOT be picked up BY THE EH&S CHEMICAL WASTE PROGRAM.


Preparations for Moving and Equipment Sales


* The Principal Investigator (P.I.) or Laboratory Supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all work surfaces and equipment where biohazardous agents have been used are appropriately disinfected.

* Equipment destined for surplus equipment sales or terminal disposal, must be disinfected. The disinfection process must be documented on Department stationery.

- For specific questions regarding the selection of disinfecting agents, consult the Biosafety Manual or contact the Biosafety Officer (725-1473).

* All biohazardous materials, including red bagged wastes and sharps containers, must be disposed of before departure. Please ensure that the appropriate pick-up requests are made well in advance of the move and that sharps (syringe barrels and needles, scalpel blades, etc.) are disposed of in appropriate containers.

- Questions? Consult the Biosafety Manual or contact the Biosafety Officer (725-1473).

Moving or Transporting


* Biohazardous materials must be appropriately packaged and labeled before transporting to sites on or off campus.

- NEED ASSISTANCE? Consult the Biosafety Manual or contact the Biosafety Officer (725-1473).

Biosafety Cabinets and Laminar Flow Hoods


* These hoods must be certified before use whether they are new or moved from another location.

- All biosafety cabinets and laminar flow hoods should have a certification sticker attached. If one is not present contact the Biosafety Officer (725-1473).


* Rooms, facilities, and apparatus (e.g., centrifuges) where radioactive materials have been used or stored are to be decontaminated so that when measured by Health Physics they meet the standards for uncontrolled areas.

- Consult the Radiation Protection Manual or contact Health Physics (723-3201) for advice or information.