Month: April 2015

JHU chemical waste disposal

Anyone generating chemical waste must take the on-line Chemical Waste Management class on myLearning. Chemical waste may be taken to the Macaulay Hall waste collection room (basement of Macaulay–use the ramp opposite New Chemistry Building) on Thursdays, from 9-12. Use the Chemical Waste Disposal Form to register your waste first.

If your building is not connected by tunnel to Macaulay, use the online form to arrange an in-lab pickup during the Thursday hours that the room in Macaulay is not manned.

All labs that generate chemical waste are required to have trained individuals to maintain the Satellite Accumulation Area. That training is provided by the Chemical Waste Management class.

Chemical waste disposal is free to labs at Homewood unless your chemical is “unknown.” There is a $450 charge for disposal of unknown chemicals–in that instance, technicians must use an expensive test kit to characterize your waste. Yet another reason to always label your chemicals!

Contact HSE at 6-8798 if you have any questions.

US “Select Agents” listing

The US Federal Select Agent Program oversees the possession, use, and transfer of biological select agents and toxins. A list of Select Agents and toxins can be found here.

Although most of the Select Agents are serious human pathogens such as Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus and bubonic plague organism,  the list includes some toxins used legitimately in biological research, such as ricin.

National Select Agent Registry–CDC

Safety in academic chemistry laboratories

The American Chemical Society is in the forefront of laboratory safety, and it publishes the well-respected Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories books. There are versions for students and faculty/administrators.

Every student who handles chemicals, whether or not they are in a “chemistry” laboratory, should be familiar with the student volume, and their faculty advisors should read the complementary faculty volume.

Rockwell laser accident database

Since 1964, Rockwell International has maintained this database of laser incidents. Although reporting is voluntary, the sheer number of incidents in the database gives one pause.

One of the fastest-growing areas of laser incident is the “aircraft illuminated with laser” event. Shining lasers at aircraft is illegal in Maryland, punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. In the City of Ocean City on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, laser pointers are banned entirely.