Health & Safety Programs

Self-Inspection Topic for Quarter 4, 2008
Disposal of Laboratory Generated Waste

The special topic for Quarter 4 is Disposal of Laboratory Generated Waste pdf icon, where we will review definitions and proper disposal of laboratory waste. Over the past few months all School of Medicine laboratories have been visited by Santa Clara County for Medical Waste and many for Hazardous Materials and Waste. During the inspections new items relating to waste generated by laboratories have been raised.

Please take this opportunity to implement the new items and review disposal practices. Self-Inspections forms for this quarter need to be completed by December 31, 2008. pdf icon


The framework for hazardous waste regulation was established in 1976 by the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This Act introduced the concept that the generator of a waste is responsible for proper waste management from “cradle-to-grave” (i.e., from lab to disposal site).



Chemical Guidelines Image

If you see it or spill it, make sure you clean it up and report/record it! Review the spill reporting and response section on the Laboratory Chemical Waste Guidelines poster.


NEW ITEMS: Kits and Autoclave Tape


MEDICAL WASTE: Red Biohazard Bag Use and Secondary Containment
The misuse of red biohazard bags (red bags) was observed in multiple facilities during this year’s Medical Waste Inspection. The red bags should only be used for disposal of biohazardous waste and not chemical or radioactive materials. They are also not to be used as covers for microscopes, equipment or transporting animal cages.

Red bags need to be in a hard-sided, closed secondary containment with a lid and labeled with the words “Biohazardous Waste” or with the international biohazard symbol and the word “BIOHAZARD” on the lid and on the sides so as to be visible from any lateral direction.


The County is planning to re-inspect or spot check areas where they have noted hazardous materials and waste deficiencies during the 2008 inspections. If your department or PI has received a communication from the University Environmental Health and Safety Department with a list of deficiencies noted by Santa Clara County during regulatory inspections, check that items have been corrected and similar conditions are not present at this time.




Updated 12/1/08 @ 08:20

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