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Tips for Collecting and Neutralizing Laboratory Waste

It should be taken into account that it may frequently be necessary to deactivate waste material before storing it. The purpose of this is to convert small quantities of reactive material into harmless secondary products hence facilitating storage and subsequent disposal.

Prior to doing this, however, you should check whether you can return the material to the manufacturer.

Please also bear in mind that such treatment normally increases the amount of material to be disposed of. Thus, first check with your Safety Officer or disposal unit as to whether the material you have can be disposed of as it is or whether it must first be treated.

Utmost care is called for when handling laboratory chemicals and particularly when neutralizing reactive chemicals, since frequently violent chemical reactions occur. All such work must, therefore, be carried out by qualified personnel and under strict observance of the respective safety measures, in an efficient hood with the front screen closed.

In carrying out these activities, general safety rules must be adhered to at all times.

The method chosen to neutralize the chemical product in question must at all costs be tried out first on a small scale to see if there are any unforeseen problems. Always choose a suitable type and size of laboratory vessel!

The instructions for the neutralization of reactive chemicals described in the following are of general nature and should not be taken as operating procedures. Prior to undertaking the tasks described below, it is absolutely necessary for an experienced and qualified person (chemist, chemical engineer, technician) to compile a detailed operating procedure - listing all the appropriate safety measures - with reference to the relevant literature.

Refer also to any Safety Data Sheets supplied by the manufacturer. However, no guarantee can be given that in carrying out deactivation instructions all potentially dangerous substances can be completely deactivated.

To facilitate the disposal of small quantities, each entry in the catalog includes a keyword "Disposal", followed by a code number that refers to the respective paragraph set out below. The container stipulated for the collection of the chemical in question is given a code letter from A to K as described above.

Should a particular substance not be provided with a corresponding descriptive label, several treatments may have to be carried out consecutively.