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Chemical safety and waste disposal

Most recent Chemistry Dept CHP model, includes some Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) templates. Purdue Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) template is older, pdf, no SOPs included. A work area specific CHP is required. The template must be modified to bear your work area's identification and information, and all relevant SOPs must be included. SOPs must be signed by the PI and signed by affected staff (anybody in the same room at the same time as the procedure in the SOP is taking place).
It is the responsibility of the supervisor (faculty member for sponsored research) to
  • ensure that the work area CHP adequately addresses all the requirements detailed in the OSHA Laboratory Standard.
  • ensure that all research staff (postdoctoral, graduate students, undergraduate researchers, technical, visiting..... are well enough trained, informed, equipped, and supervised that all work is done as safely as possible.

The CHP can be retained electronically, but all affected staff must know where to find it, and SOPs with signatures must be produced on request. A printed and signed (by the supervisor) copy of the work area CHP is to be located in the work area and its location is to be known by all who work in the area. REM staff members and/or regulatory enforcement personnel might request it, and it must be produced promptly.

Each work area's work area specfic CHP is to be reviewed and revised annually before the end of January as a condition of our safety program certification.

Shipping Hazardous Materials: Be very aware of the information provided by REM about shipping anything even very small samples of materials which might be more regulated than you realize.

"Hazardous materials" might include things that are not incredibly hazardous but require careful shipping details to be attended to. SHIPPING of chemical samples is highly regulated, and even the most benign-seeming small thing which 20 years ago you would have just popped into an envelope and sent to your colleague at Cambridge..... must be considered carefuly by the people who know how to follow all of the the Deparetment of Transportation rules.

Chemical waste disposal at Purdue is done quite efficiently and carefully by the REM Hazardous Materials Management section. Waste accumulation, segregation, labeling, and pick-up request procedures are detailed in their "Guidelines..." document.

CHEMICAL WASTE DISPOSAL (PICK-UP) Several choices including a websubmit form.

What makes a waste a RCRA-regulated hazardous waste? (It's a fairly complicated and long answer, easiest to call REM HMM section at 40121 and ask.)

If it has one or more of these characteristics:

  • Toxicity: (if your waste is or contains any of these elements or compounds, name them in the "chemical description")
  • Ignitability: (complex definition, includes, but not limited to, flammable liquids)
  • Corrosivity: (... has a pH ≤ 12.5 or ≥ 2 as determined by..... OR corrodes steel (SAE 1020) at a rate greater than.....)
  • Reactivity: (See the definition there.)

If it is on a list:

Do you have a LOT of small vials, ampoules, capped tubes.... of chemicals (with or without solvent) that seem to have accumulated over the duration of your work in the lab? There is a safe, legal, easy way to get rid of them!

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) inventory. The Department of Homeland Security requires this one, and noncompliance can have more serious results than we like to think about. The Dean of Science is required to submit all of the Science departments' information to the Office of the Provost.

Empty chemical container disposal: