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Environmental Health & Safety

HAZARDS OF MISLABELED WASTE

Please take time to review hazardous waste container labeling protocol.

Personnel handling waste depend on those who label waste for accurate and complete information. Grossly mislabeled waste can cause injury and has lead to some close calls. For example, a bottle of chromic acid waste was labeled "methanol". You can well imagine the danger such carelessness creates for people who must handle the material.

Before collecting waste in a container, be sure to remove old labels or at least render them illegible. Apply a new label (available from Hazardous Waste Management at ext. 5-2056) and mark it accurately so that there is no question about the contents. Dispose of waste on a regular basis to prevent label deterioration and subsequent hazards of dealing with unknowns.

The safe and correct disposal of hazardous waste requires complete and accurate information. Our system of determining safe and proper disposal is based on the information provided by the labs. The only other method is for a complete EPA-approved analysis for each bottle of waste. Such analyses are extensive and run $1,100 per sample. If we have to have such analyses done on only a fraction of the 10,000 containers of waste the U of R generates annually, the cost to those who generate the waste would be very high.

We need to avoid these costs and make sure we help keep each other safe. Proper labeling costs almost nothing and might prevent any one of us from being needlessly injured.

Guidelines for hazardous waste collection and labeling are available. There is also a short video that is excellent for training. Please call ext. 5-2056 for more information.


QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?
Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 11/24/2010. Disclaimer.