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Dispose of Lab Equipment

In order to properly dispose of laboratory equipment that has been used to house and/or work with biohazardous or potentially-biohazardous materials, there are a few things you will need to do:

Laboratory and Equipment Decontamination 

All equipment used to handle or store biological agents or located in a biological laboratory (ex. freezers, incubators, centrifuges, etc.) that needs to be relocated, sent out for repair/service or to be discarded must be decontaminated with bleach or another EPA-registered disinfectant, followed by 70% ethanol (v/v, diluted in water) according to the following guidelines.

Decontamination Guidelines

1.  Put on appropriate personal protective equipment. At a minimum, gloves and safety glasses should be worn.
2.  Spray an EPA-registered disinfectant on the equipment. In most cases, a freshly prepared 1:10 bleach solution should be used to disinfect biological agents.
3.  Allow disinfectant to remain on the equipment for the appropriate contact time (30 minutes).
4.  Completely remove (by wiping with a towel) the disinfectant from the equipment.
5.  Spray the equipment with 70% ethanol or 70% isopropanol (v/v, diluted in water).
6.  Print out a “Decontamination Certification” form. Sign, date, and affix the form to the equipment.
7.  It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or designated contact to sign the form and affix one form to each piece of equipment and contact facilities to remove the equipment.
8.  The Office of laboratory Safety is required to tag equipment that has been used or stored in a laboratory after laboratory personnel have performed the above stated decontamination and certification steps. Once this is done, please contact facilities for disposal.

Important Notes:

•     The Radiation Safety Office must clear any equipment in laboratories using radioactive materials and prior to decontamination by laboratory personnel. Radiation Safety can be reached at (202)-994-2630.
•     Biological Safety Cabinets – Laboratory personnel are NOT permitted to perform or certify the decontamination of a biological safety cabinet that is being moved. A certified vendor must be contacted to conduct the decontamination process and certify the unit prior to moving.
•     Equipment that is NOT in a laboratory setting does not require decontamination.
•     Once decontaminated by laboratory personnel and a signed certification form is affixed, the laboratory equipment may NOT be used.
•     The Office of Laboratory Safety should be contacted concerning equipment that requires moving from laboratories or research spaces.
If you have any questions, do not hestitate to contact us at 202-994-8258 or [email protected]