General Description

Hazardous waste is typically generated in small quantities in the laboratory setting, but laboratories can be a source of acute hazardous waste as well.

Summary of Federal Requirements

Hazardous and/or acutely hazardous waste generated in laboratories is managed the same as all other hazardous waste. Click here to visit the Hazardous Waste Storage section of the Facility Regulatory Tour.

What can be different, is the individual types of waste generated. For example, depending on the activity in the lab, the following waste streams may be present:

  • Waste formaldehyde (prep and storage of larger tissue and organ specimens)
  • Waste metals (metals-containing fixatives/silver staining)
  • Waste mercury (from using Zankers solution OR from use of B5 Preservative/fixative)
  • Waste glutaraldehyde (used as a preservative/fixative)
  • Waste zinc sulfate (used as presesrvative/fixative)
  • Waste alcohols (used as presesrvative/fixative)
  • Antineoplastic or cytoxic agents used to produce chemotherapy solutions.

Summary of State Requirements

States may identify waste streams as hazardous waste even when they are not identified as such Federally. This rarely happens.

Laws and Statutes

The Resources Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle C

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