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Environmental Health and Safety
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Biohazardous Waste Disposal

All biohazardous waste is required to be inactivated prior to disposal. The preferred method of inactivation is steam sterilization (autoclaving) although chemical inactivation may be appropriate in some cases. Liquid waste should be poured down the drain (sanitary sewer) following chemical inactivation.

BL 2 agents, veterinary pathogens, recombinant DNA materials and plant pathogens regulated by APHIS and DPI must be inactivated prior to disposal. Materials that are considered biohazardous waste by state law include, but are not limited to, the following: nonliquid human tissue and body parts, human "disease-causing agents", discarded sharps, human blood, human blood products and human body fluids. Other materials that are covered under this rule are bandages, gauze or other materials that are saturated with human blood or body fluids, medical tubing and other devices with visible blood adhering to them and any contaminated material that represents a "significant risk of infection". 

The local landfill does not accept "red-bagged" material or any "medical waste", even if inactivated. This material must be inactivated and collected by a licensed biomedical waste vendor for appropriate disposal. 

If the transport of contaminated waste outside of the laboratory becomes necessary (to an autoclave or medical waste receptacle) it shall be in closed, non-porous containers. 

Sharp objects must be placed in puncture-proof containers. Material to be transported must be identified as biohazardous either by red-bagging or by labeling with the universal biohazard symbol. The date and name of the lab supervisor or principal investigator should be clearly visible. 

The storage of contaminated waste is restricted to within the generating laboratory. Biohazardous waste may not be stored for longer than 24 hours without being inactivated. Following inactivation, biohazardous waste may not be stored longer than 36 hours prior to collection. 

Needles, scalpels and razor blades must be placed in labeled, puncture-proof "sharps" containers. Sharps that are contaminated require steam sterilization or chemical inactivation prior to disposal. 

Please note that it is the responsibility of the principal investigator or the laboratory supervisor or lab manager to ensure compliance with this policy.