A laboratory is a facility where the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals occurs. It is a workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a non-production basis (29 CFR 1910.1450(b)). This can be a wet lab, a biology lab, a histology lab, an hematology lab, a dry lab, a necropsy lab, a water analysis lab, or a waste characterization lab to name a few possibilities.
The Laboratory Use of a Hazardous Chemical is defined as handling or use of such chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met (29 CFR 1910.1450(b)):
- chemical manipulations are carried out on a laboratory scale
- multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used
- the procedures involved are not part of a production process, nor in any way simulate a production process
- protective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for employee exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The term Laboratory Scale means to work with substances in which the containers used for reactions, transfers, and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person (29 CFR 1910.1450(b)).
Lab operations that result in potentially regulated air emissions include: exhaust from fume hoods, boilers/steam units, air conditioning systems, incinerators, and ethylene oxide sterilizers.
Depending on the volume of hazardous materials or extremely hazardous materials stored on site, federal facilities must submit notifications of their activities.
Hazardous Waste Storage
Hazardous waste is typically generated in small quantities in the laboratory setting, but laboratories can be a source of acute hazardous waste as well.
A classification whereby waste batteries, waste excess pesticides, waste thermostats, and waste fluorescent tubes do not have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.
Wastewater is anything that goes down the drains, whether it be down the sink drains, floor drains, sewer drains, or parking lot drains.