Hazardous waste—The very term suggests danger and serious adverse effects to human health and the environment. For laboratory personnel, the term is particularly significant as hazardous wastes are produced or generated by some processes in the laboratory. However, these materials can be handled, stored, shipped, and disposed of safely if the proper procedures are carefully followed. This training session introduces trainees to the hazards of hazardous wastes and the methods that can be used to make sure that safety is not compromised in any operations involving these materials. By the end of the session, trainees will:
- Recognize the characteristics of hazardous waste.
- Understand the hazards these materials present.
- Know how to find the information needed to recognize the hazards of a particular material.
- Know how to protect themselves and others through control measures and safe work practices.
Why “Hazardous Waste Safety in the Laboratory” Matters:
- “Hazardous waste” is a waste that has the potential to cause, or significantly contribute to, an increase in mortality or serious illness.
- Hazardous waste may also pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or managed.
- Health effects caused by exposure to hazardous waste range from relatively minor effects, such as skin irritation, headaches, and dizziness, to life-threatening conditions, such as organ failure or cancer.
- Some hazardous wastes are considered immediately dangerous to life and health( IDLH) due to the acute effects of exposure.
The main points covered in this training session include:
- Hazardous wastes pose significant risks to workers, the public, and the environment.
- Knowledge of the material and the hazard it presents is the first step in remaining safe.
- The hazards posed by waste materials can be contained through control measures and safe work practices.
- Hazardous wastes are tracked from “cradle to grave” to keep their hazards contained.