Safety Policies - College of Life Sciences

University policy promotes a safe, healthy environment for its faculty, students, and visitors. Risk Management and Safety and the campus Safety Committees have established safety guidelines and standards. These guidelines are based on applicable health and safety standards promulgated by Federal and State agencies including OSHA’s Laboratory Standard, Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, and Hazard Communications Standard.  Personnel working in laboratories are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner that will uphold these guidelines. Our mutual safety depends on the efforts of individuals working to eliminate unsafe acts and conditions.

Chemical Hygiene & Biosafety Plan


Safety Regulation Summary

Lab Safety Rules and Regulations - Academic labs
Lab Safety Rules and Regulations - Research labs
Waste Regulations Summary
Field Trip Safety Plan

General Laboratory Safety Policies

Safety policies outlined by the College and the laboratory supervisor must be adhered to. To help with observance of these policies, general laboratory safety procedures and laboratory equipment have been outlined below. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and consult with your supervisor for safety procedures specific for your area. College Administrative polices that apply to all Life Sciences labs that use or store hazardous materials:
  • Know the materials you are working with (e.g., chemical, biological, radioactive.) Refer to written laboratory protocols and review the MSDS information for all chemicals with which you will be working.
  • Know where the MSDS folder, safety shower, eye wash, fire extinguisher, and other safety equipment are located before you start working in the laboratory.
  • Know the emergency procedures in your area (e.g., escape routes, assembly areas, etc.).
  • Each lab is required to have a laboratory safety manual that is specific for the lab. It should include the Chemical Hygiene Plan, lab standard operating procedures, MSDS, college emergency procedures, college safety polices, and other reference materials applicable to your lab.
  • Always wear appropriate clothing (e.g., long pants, closed-toe shoes) and personal protective equipment (e.g., safety glasses, lab coats, gloves) in the laboratory. Shorts and sandals should not be worn in the lab, as they do not protect your legs and feet from hazardous spills. Any loose or flowing items (such as ties, scarves, necklaces or bracelets) should be removed or secured before beginning lab work.
  • Remove personal protective equipment before leaving the laboratory.
  • Avoid touching your face while in the lab especially while wearing gloves. Always wash your hands before leaving the lab area. This helps prevent the accidental spread of hazards to public areas as well as lessening the chance of accidental ingestion of hazards from contaminated hands.
  • When working with hazardous biological materials use an appropriate biological safety cabinet (BSC2/3).
  • Use a chemical fume hood when working with toxic or volatile chemicals.
  • No eating, drinking, preparing food, storing food, or applying cosmetics (lotions, lip blam, etc.) in the laboratory.
  • Keep work areas clean and uncluttered at all times.
  • Keep all doors closed when the lab is unoccupied or when you are working with extremely hazardous materials such as radioisotopes and infectious microorganisms. Check your lab protocols to see if the lab should be secured at all times. Keeping the lab secure helps prevent individuals from entering the lab who are not aware or trained in dealing with the hazards present in the lab, as well as reducing the opportunity for theft.
  • Children under the age of 12 are not permitted in laboratories.
  • No pets are allowed in lab areas. Animals are subject to the same exposure pathways as humans. Prior approval for guide animals from the College Safety Coordinator & Risk Management is needed before a guide animal should be allowed into a lab.
  • Do not operate centrifuges, autoclaves, or other equipment without permission and adequate prior training.
  • Do not work alone in the lab. Whenever possible, or when called for in the SOP, you should work with someone in the lab area in case of an emergency.

Compressed Gas Cylinders

All cylinders must be treated as potential missiles and be treated with respect and caution. Cylinders must be transported with the safety caps in place and must be effectively secured before that cap is removed. Only move cylinders on a sturdy rack with a chain to secure the cylinder in place.
It is never appropriate to store compressed gas cylinders on carts or lying on the floor horizontally. Always store cylinders in an upright position and securely fastened to the wall. Pressure clamps attached to tables or bench tops do NOT provide adequate support for cylinders in an emergency situation (earthquake, explosion, etc.).

Chemical Storage

Ensure that all chemicals are segregated and stored with compatible chemicals. Flammable chemicals should be stored in a fireproof cabinet. Acids and bases should be stored in secondary tubs and in a noncorrosive cabinet when possible. All shelves should have a lip or bar to prevent items falling off the shelves during earthquakes.
Secondary storage containers should be clearly labeled with the chemical name and properties. Waste containers should be closed when not in use.

Doors

Laboratory doors should be closed whenever the lab is not in use. Biosafety level 2 or labs containing radioactive materials should always have the doors closed and locked. Do not prop laboratory doors open, this a violation of the fire code.

Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is one of the most important factors in a safe laboratory. Clutter may result in spills, falls, and broken glassware. DO NOT store combustibles like boxes and unnecessary papers that can fuel a fire and keep it burning. DO NOT block sprinklers.
Keep hoods, floors, workbenches, sinks, cabinets, and shelves free of clutter. Please keep in mind that for most laboratories, custodial crews will only clean the floor and empty trash bins. It is the responsibility of laboratory personnel to clean workbenches and sinks.

Personal Protective Equipment

Eye and Face Protection

Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields must be worn when working with corrosive materials or other hazardous or infectious substances that can splash into the eyes. The type of eye protection required depends on the hazard. It is the responsibility of individual students to wear adequate protective eyewear as specified in the protocol being preformed.

For persons requiring corrective lenses, over-the-glasses style safety spectacles are available. Contact lenses may be worn in most lab environments provided that the same approved eye protection is worn as required. If chemical vapors or corrosive or irritant liquids contact the eyes while wearing contact lenses, these steps should be followed:
  • Continuously flush the eyes with water as described above for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lenses after flushing begins.
  • Seek medical attention.

Gloves

The use of nitrile or latex gloves (as specified for the procedure) when handling chemical or biological hazards in the laboratory is vital to personal safety. Disposable gloves must be worn when handling human blood, human blood products, or other human or animal body fluids or tissues. Gloves must be worn when handling or mixing any mutagenic, carcinogenic, teratogenic, toxic, or other hazardous compound. Double gloving is strongly encouraged when working with blood products and hazardous chemicals not compatible with the glove type.

DO NOT WEAR DISPOSABLE GLOVES OUTSIDE OF LABORATORY AREAS
Wearing contaminated gloves in public areas of the building would expose nonlaboratory workers, visitors, and students to the very hazards that require gloves in the first place. Even if your gloves are clean, bystanders may question whether or not those gloves are contaminated; therefore, we adopt the common protocol of removing gloves each time we leave our laboratory area. Remove used gloves properly and dispose in designated receptacles in the laboratory. Wash hands with soap and water immediately after removing gloves, and again prior to leaving the laboratory. For additional information on the type of gloves needed for a procedure, visit the glove information section of the RM&S website.

Laboratory Coats and Aprons

Laboratory coats and aprons may be required depending on the type of work being preformed. Lab coats should fit properly (not too large or too small) with the cuff of the sleeve not extending past your wrist. Lab coats should be laundered when they become dirty. Coats and aprons should be removed prior to leaving the laboratory.

Other Protective Clothing

All personnel must wear closed-toe shoes (not open sandals) while in laboratories. Long pants are also required in all labs where chemicals or other hazardous materials are used. Loose-fitting or hanging clothing is not recommended. Long hair should be pulled back.

Shorts and sandals do not provide adequate protection for students or researchers working with chemicals or other hazardous materials. Jewelry and ties can be a hazard, become caught on equipment, or keep chemicals in close contact with the skin. This policy and warning applies in all teaching and research laboratories within the College where chemicals are used or stored.

Laboratory Safety Equipment

Emergency equipment must not be blocked by anything that would prevent the immediate use of the equipment. It is each individual’s responsibility to know where all emergency equipment and exits are located in their laboratory area.

Emergency Showers, Drench Hoses, and Eye Wash Stations

Used in an emergency to flush chemicals that have accidentally come in contact with laboratory personnel. Drench hoses and eye wash stations are for use with minor splashes to the face or body. Safety showers should be used when a major chemical splash occurs. Treatment of splashes to the eye and face is immediate flushing with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes. Personnel should not be hesitant to use safety shower and eyewash stations simply because there are no floor drains.  We will deal with the water after the emergency has been resolved.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers have been strategically placed in or just outside laboratories depending on the hazards. Visit the fire extinguisher section of the RM&S website for additional information. When operating a fire extinguisher, remember P.A.S.S. – Pull (the pin), Aim (the nozzle at the base of the fire), Squeeze (the trigger), and Sweep (across the base of the fire).

First Aid Kits

Kits should be available in each laboratory. The kit should contain disposable gloves, Band-Aids, gauze bandages, gauze pads, and ice packs. These kits should not have topical creams, liquids, or ointments that could be contaminated with hazardous materials.

Laboratory Safety Information

MSDS, emergency procedures, safety manuals, chemical hygiene plan, standard operating procedures (SOP), and other references should be readily available for all laboratory personnel. All laboratory personnel should review this information on an annual basis.

Door Postings and Other Signs

All laboratories should have a laboratory safety information sign on or by the door exterior, facing the corridor. The sign provides emergency response personnel information about the potential hazards in the laboratory. The card should identify hazards within the facility and the responsible faculty member. To update or create a lab sign, please visit the Hazard Sign Request section of the RM&S website. Special placards must also be placed in locations for radioactivity, laser light, and magnetic field hazards.

Mechanical Pipetting Aids

Always use appropriate pipetting devices. Mouth pipetting is prohibited.

Sharps Containers and Glass Boxes

All needles and syringes, razor blades and other sharp items need to be disposed of in a sharps container. Glass-only boxes are used for disposal of noncontaminated broken glass. When the box is full, securely close the box and mark for disposal by custodial personnel. Sharps containers should be sealed and replaced when 2/3 full to prevent overfilling. Do not overfill sharps containers. Sealed sharps containers can be picked up by Environmental Management (801-422-6156) for disposal.

Emergency and Accident Procedures

To request emergency assistance on campus (fire, police, or ambulance) dial 2-2222 or 911 from any campus phone. Dial (801) 422-2222 or 911 from any cell phone. In all emergencies and accidents the first consideration is your safety and the safety of those around you. For more detailed emergency procedures please refer to the College Emergency Procedure Guide.

All fires, injuries, and spills need to be reported as soon as possible, even if they are minor and require no further action. Contact your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, or College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875, 5008 LSB) to report all incidents.

All injuries and incidents need to be reported within 24 hours when possible.

Chemical, Biological, or Radioactive Spills

  • Alert all persons nearby.
  • If a chemical has spilled on you or splashed in your face/eyes use the emergency shower or drench hose for at least 15 minutes. Remove any contaminated clothing to minimize further exposure.
  • If you have spilled a small amount, know that the substance is of minimal hazard, and can clean it up, do so. Label and package waste according to the guidelines listed on Chemicals Management Regulated Waste Procedure website. Otherwise,
  • Evacuate the area and close the door to the laboratory facility. If flammables are spilled and your safety is assured, turn off any ignition devices.
  • Contact your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875, 5008 LSB) and/or RM&S (801-422-4468.) If after hours or on weekends, contact BYU Police at 801-422-2222 for advice and assistance or Provo City Police at 911. Be prepared to provide the identity, amount, and location of the spill, as well as your location and a phone number where you can be reached (not your lab phone, since you should not remain in the lab after the spill).
  • If you have been potentially exposed to a Bloodborne Pathogen (see following), contact your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, College Safety Coordinator and/or RM&S immediately. Treatment should be started within 2 hours of the possible exposure. If during working hours, proceed directly to the BYU Student Health Center; if after hours, go to UVRMC ER.

Exposure to a Bloodborne Pathogen

A Bloodborne pathogen is any microorganism that is present in human blood or other body fluids and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Any exposure to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids needs to be reported IMMEDIATELY, even if the presence of infectious materials on an item or surface is only suspected. Exposure can be from broken skin, eye, mucous membrane, needle sticks, human bites, cuts, and abrasions.

All exposure incidents need to be treated as soon as possible. Prophylactic treatment, when indicated, is available for most diseases if started within 2 hours of the exposure. When possible the exposure device should be saved for further testing and documentation. When a source individual is identified, they should be asked to give consent to immediate testing and interview by a clinician to determine risk free of charge.

If a potential exposure happens:
  • Clean the wound, wash or flush the contaminated area thoroughly.
  • Notify your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875, 5008 LSB) and/or RM&S (801-422-4468) immediately.
  • Proceed to Urgent Care at the Student Health Center from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday–Friday for evaluation and postexposure follow-up. During night or weekends, go directly to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for evaluation and postexposure follow-up.
  • Treatment costs are covered by the University for all injuries occurring while enrolled in a class or working as a student employee on campus. Do not let treatment costs prevent you from seeking care.
  • The following information must be provided to your supervisor or safety coordinator.
    • The route of exposure and how the exposure occurred; and
    • The identity of the source individual, unless unknown or prohibited by law.

Laceration or Puncture Wounds

If you have been potentially exposed to a Bloodborne Pathogen, contact your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875) and/or RM&S (801-422-4468) immediately.  Treatment should be started within 2 hours of the possible exposure. If during working hours, proceed directly to the BYU Student Health Center; if after hours, go to UVRMC ER.

Animal bites need follow-up medical care. If you are injured while handling an animal:
  • Clean the wound, wash or flush the contaminated area thoroughly.
  • Notify your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875, 5008 LSB) and/or RM&S (801-422-4468) immediately.
  • Proceed to Urgent Care at the Student Health Center from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday–Friday for evaluation and postexposure follow-up. During night or weekends, go directly to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for evaluation and postexposure follow-up.
For lacerations and puncture wounds where no potential biological hazard is present:
  • Wash the effected area with mild soap and water for at least 5 minutes.
  • Use direct pressure to stop bleeding if needed.
  • Apply antibacterial ointment and a clean bandage that will not stick to the wound.
  • Inform your faculty supervisor, Department Safety Coordinator, College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875) of the incident.
  • If stitches or further medical treatment is needed proceed directly to the BYU Student Health Center during work hours, or if after hours go to UVRMC ER.

Fire or Explosion

  • Remain Calm.
  • Assess: Determine the nature of the fire, its size, your own training in fighting fire, and your personal safety in the situation. If you have any doubts, get out! Fighting a fire is voluntary.
  • Put out all open flames; turn off oxygen and flammable gases if safe to do so.
  • If the fire is small and does not involve a hazardous agent then try to fight the fire with the correct type of extinguisher for the fire.
  • If the fire is dangerous and not under reasonable control, exit the building and pull the closest fire alarm box.
  • Dial 801-422-2222 or 911 to alert BYU or Provo City police and fire. Be prepared to provide the type, size and location of the fire or explosion, as well as your location and phone number where you can be reached (not your lab phone, since you should not remain in the lab during a fire).

Building Access and Security

Outside door access is available “after hours” if needed for all the buildings in the College of Life Sciences. Each building is equipped with card readers on some exterior doors. You must have your ID card encoded so that you may enter the building after hours. Contact your department secretary for more information on obtaining after-hours access. Each person entering a building when it is locked should swipe his or her own card. Do not give your ID card to another person to access the building; doing so will result in having your privileges revoked.  When buildings are locked, outside doors should not be propped open.

Training and Compliance

Faculty/lab supervisors are responsible to train all lab workers in site-specific hazards and to enforce safety polices in their laboratory areas. Faculty/lab supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all training is properly documented and that individuals working in their labs do not engage in activities for which they have not been trained. All student employees of the College of Life Sciences who are working in a laboratory area as well as all research personnel including undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows need to complete the online Life Sciences General Lab Safety Training. They must also read all training documentation (including this document and all SOPs) for operations specific to the work area and sign a verification of training certificate or log.

Teaching Laboratories

Faculty who are teaching laboratory classes should provide safety training material as part of their course materials, either separately or as part of the textbook. Specific hazards to be encountered in the laboratory should be addressed and training given as to the course of action to be taken in the event of an incident. In laboratories where human blood or blood products are used, the Bloodborne Pathogens Program should be reviewed prior to the beginning of any work. Safety information imparted to students in a laboratory class needs to be documented. A quiz or signed statement provides documentation of training.

Research Laboratories

Faculty who routinely bring undergraduates into their research areas where potential hazardous materials or equipment are used need to ensure that all lab personnel complete the general lab safety training, review all lab SOPs and policies applicable to the work being performed, and supply additional training specific to the area in use. Supervisors need to document all training by having the student sign a form indicating that required material has been read and understood.

Radiation Training

All students and faculty who use radioactive materials or equipment in their research need to complete the radiation training through Risk Management and Safety. Training can be requested as a course if 5 or more individuals need training, or can be taken as needed as a self-study course. Contact the College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875, 5008 LSB) for radiation training materials and information.

Fieldwork

Training specific for the work being performed in the field should be presented to the students before the trip begins. A field research safety plan should be submitted to your department secretary for all field work off campus or away from college locations. Document all training by having the student sign a form indicating that required material has been read and understood prior to any field work. Same-day travel (less than 300 miles that does not require commercial transportation) needs to be authorized by the Department Chair/Manager and Dean/Director. Full-time faculty, administrative or staff personnel are encouraged, but not required, to accompany students in same-day travel when such travel does not exceed 300 miles. All approved same-day travel in excess of 300 miles and all non same-day student travel requires full-time faculty, administrative, or staff personnel to supervise travel plans and to accompany the students. For complete student travel polices refer to the Purchasing and Travel website (https://purchasing.byu.edu/dept/trvl_docs.asp?id=321).

Animal and Human Subjects

The Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) is responsible for both animal and human subject research training at BYU. For more complete information on both animal and human subject training and approval refer to the ORCA website http://orca.byu.edu/.

Animal Research–IACUC

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is required by federal regulation and is intended to ensure appropriate housing, care, and humane treatment of animals used in research or other academic activities on campus and animal field studies research performed by University researchers.
All researchers using animal subjects are required to complete an online tutorial at http://orca.byu.edu/IACUC/Training.aspx.  This training was developed by the Laboratory Animal Training Association (LATA) to provide required information as mandated by federal regulations. All students and faculty must complete the LATA modules before working with animals. This includes the principal investigator, all co-investigators, research technicians, research assistants, or student assistants who have contact with the research animals.

Human Subjects–IRB

BYU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for the review of all human-subjects research conducted at BYU or elsewhere by University faculty, staff, or students.  It also reviews research by investigators from other institutions or agencies who are working in conjunction with BYU in any capacity.
All researchers using human subjects are required to complete an online research tutorial at https://irbtutorial.byu.edu/.   All students and faculty must complete the IRB tutorial before working with human subjects. This includes the principal investigator, all co-investigators, research technicians, research assistants, or student assistants who have contact with the research subjects. A certificate of completion will be issued at the end of the tutorial. This report must be printed out and kept with protocol materials.

Waste Disposal Procedures

Chemicals Management provides containers for temporary storage of biological, chemical and radioactive materials, and other wastes upon request.  
  • Contact Environment Management (801-422-6156) when waste container is about to become full.  Leave at least an inch of headspace in all containers.  Do not overfill containers.
  • Do not put solid waste into liquid waste containers.
  • Do not use red biohazard bags for chemical waste.
  • Do not generate a mixed waste (see mixed waste following for more information).
  • Do not place animal or biohazard waste in normal trash bins.
  • Biohazard waste must be prebagged and tied before being added to the yellow biohazard waste containers.
  • Animal remains or specimens that are not preserved must be frozen before pickup.

Chemical Waste

Training is required for anybody generating hazardous waste. If you have not been trained on hazardous waste regulations, contact the College Safety Coordinator (801-422-6875) or Environmental Management (801-422-6156). They will be happy to provide training during a laboratory staff meeting or at any time that is convenient for you.

The following federal regulations apply to hazardous waste generated in laboratories.  Any violation of these regulations may result in significant fines and loss of federal grants.
  • No more than 55 gallons of waste may be stored in the laboratories. For acutely hazardous waste this limit is reduced to one quart. Contact Environmental Management (801-422-6156) if you have questions about whether your waste is acutely hazardous or not.
  • Full containers must be marked with the dates on which they were filled and they must be removed from the laboratory within three days (not three business days).
  • The laboratory must be "under the control of the operator." This simply means that when nobody is in the lab the door must be closed and locked.
  • Waste containers must be in good condition and compatible with the type of waste being stored in them. Leaking containers are not acceptable.
  • Containers must be closed at all times except when adding or removing waste. "Closed" means that no waste can evaporate out of the container and that no waste would spill if the container were to tip over.
  • The container must be labeled with a description of its contents. This description must be in English and must include the chemical name. Chemical structures and/or formulas are not appropriate substitutes for their names. All components of the waste must be listed.
  • Incompatible wastes must be kept segregated.

Biohazardous Waste

Liquids

Liquid biohazardous waste may be collected in a rigid plastic container labeled as biohazardous waste.  (For biohazard labels contact the College Safety Coordinator; (801) 422-6875.)  When full Environmental Management will pick up the liquid waste for disposal.  The plastic container will not be returned.

Liquid biohazarodous waste, even if disinfected and autoclaved, should not be flushed down the drain.

Do not generate any mixed waste. See section on mixed waste following. Preserving solutions may not be flushed down the drain. The specimens must be removed from the solution and the solution may then go to Environmental Management for hazardous waste disposal. See section on chemical waste.

Solids

  • Biohazardous waste must be packaged in either a red biohazard bag or a bag that is labeled as biohazardous and displays the international biohazard symbol.
  • In order to minimize exposure to biohazards, bags of solid waste must be closed and tied off before pick up by Environmental Management.
  • Keep all sharp materials separate. Environmental Management will not accept biohazard bags that contain glass, needles, or blades.
  • There may not be any liquids in the solid waste.
  • High-risk biohazard agents (level 3) must be both autoclaved and received by Environmental Management.
  • Low to moderate risk biohazard agents (level 1 and 2) do not need to be autoclaved before being received by Environmental Management.  Do not use biohazardous autoclave bags for level 1 and 2 waste.  
  • Animal remains or specimens that are not preserved must be frozen. Environmental Management will only pick up frozen waste the morning before shipment. Currently, they ship every other Monday.
  • "Sharps" include all needles and blades and must always be managed as biohazardous waste, even if they were used only with chemicals. They must be placed in an appropriate sharps container. Do not overfill the container; it must be closed before Environmental Management will pick it up. Broken glass may be managed as "sharps," but technically it does not have to be. See the section on glass following.
  • Do not generate any mixed waste. See section on mixed waste following.

Radioactive Waste

All radioactive waste must be segregated by isotope. Containers must be labeled with the isotope, the amount in microcuries, the lab number, and the date. Do not generate any mixed waste. See section on mixed waste below.

Liquids

  • Most liquid radioactive waste may be flushed down the drain. Laboratories are allowed to flush amounts up to 100 microcuries/day.
  • Radioactive iodine, however, may not be flushed. Environmental Management will dispose of this type of waste.
  • Only nonhazardous, biodegradable scintillation fluid may be used. Scintillation fluids may be flushed down the drain or given to Environmental Management for disposal. If given to Environmental Management, vials must be stored upright in flats or in a plastic bucket.

Solids

  • Make sure there are no liquids (not even droplets at the bottom of a vial). This is extremely important. The radioactive waste disposal facility will assess a fee and return any waste that has liquids.
  • Remove or deface all radioactive labels. Short half-life material will be decayed, then disposed of as regular trash. The landfill employees really do not like to see radioactive labels!
  • Collect waste in clear plastic bags. The bags must be closed and labeled before pick up by Environmental Management. If this waste is not sealed in a plastic bag, the Chemicals Management Department will not pick it up.
  • If your lab generates radioactive sharps (needles, blades, or glass) keep them segregated from nonradioactive sharps. Do not use a red biohazard sharps container.
  • Do not use red biohazard bags for radioactive waste.

Mixed Waste

At BYU, mixed waste is considered any waste that is:
  • Hazardous and Radioactive.
  • Hazardous and Biohazardous.
  • Radioactive and Biohazardous.
Disposal of these wastes is extremely difficult and costly. This type of waste must be approved with Environmental Management before any waste is generated. Laboratories generating mixed wastes will be responsible to pay for their disposal.

Glass

Some empty bottles, such as those that contained acutely hazardous materials must be managed as hazardous waste. However, most glass waste may be disposed of as regular trash. Rinse glassware in the sink and then place the glass in a box or bucket. Do not ever put glass (especially broken glass) into regular waste containers. This has caused accidents where custodians have cut themselves while removing waste. Attach a label to the box or bucket which informs the custodians to place the container directly into the dumpster.
Biohazardous contaminated glass, such as slides and glass test tubes, must be disposed of separately from other glass waste.  Line a sturdy cardboard box with a biohazard bag for collection of contaminated glass.  When full, tie the bag and seal the box.  Label as contaminated glass and call Environmental Management for pickup.   

Paper and Plastic

Most paper and plastic waste generated in the laboratory may be disposed of in regular waste containers. In some cases, such as spill cleanups or contamination with very hazardous materials or blood products, it may become necessary to dispose of paper and plastic as hazardous waste. In such cases, do not place these materials into containers for liquid hazardous waste. They may be collected in containers designated for solid debris only.

Other Wastes

Environmental Management also collects and recycles the following miscellaneous wastes:
  • Batteries
  • Oil-bearing devices (such as transformers)
  • Circuit boards
  • Aerosol cans (empty or full)
Please detach these items from equipment that is to be discarded and contact Environmental Management for disposal. There are other regulated wastes generated on campus that are typically managed by other entities (physical facilities, custodians, etc.). These wastes include computers and monitors, fluorescent lights, electronic ballasts, and others. Be aware that if your lab does generate any of these items for waste, they may not be discarded in the trash.