RADIOACTIVE WASTE GUIDELINES
waste containers, plastic liners and radioactive labels may be obtained
by contacting the Radiation Safety Office, unless otherwise indicated
below. Use the following procedures for all radioactive waste. As with
all radioactive materials, contaminated waste must be secured from unauthorized
removal. Always contact the Radiation Safety Office if you have any
waste containers will be provided in two primary sizes: 10 and 32 gallons.
Liquids shall not be placed in solid waste containers. Relatively small
volumes (a few ml's) of aqueous liquid may be transferred onto absorbent
material and placed in an appropriate solid radioactive waste container.
Do not use this technique for organic solvents; flammable materials
must never be placed in solid waste containers. Lead must not be placed
in solid waste containers; it must be picked up separately. Segregate
solid waste according to radionuclide half-life, as follows:
elements (atomic numbers greater than 92)
solid waste which will be held for decay (i.e., radionuclides with half-lives
<=120 days), remove or deface all radiation labels before placing
materials in waste containers. Additionally, solid waste shall be handled
glass pipettes and broken glassware must be placed in a cardboard
box, lined with a clear plastic bag. When full, secure the box with
the lid closed (please use tape) and place it into a 10 or 32 gallon
"general labware" waste container of the same radioisotope
category. The Radiation Safety Office can provide boxes and liners.
labware - Paper, plastic (including plastic pipettes), gloves, unbroken
glassware, etc. must be placed in 10 or 32 gallon containers, lined
with a clear plastic bag.
- As a general rule, if you generate waste that is both radioactive
and biohazardous, you should contact both the Biosafety Officer and
the Radiation Safety Officer for proper handling procedures. Prior
to pickup by the Radiation Safety Office, any solid waste contaminated
with potentially infectious material must be sterilized. Do not place
radioactive biohazard material in "red bags" unless the
radioactivity is in exempt quantities. Red bags are only to be used
for materials that are to be incinerated. Sharps (needles and syringes,
scalpels, etc.) must be placed in special sharps containers and properly
labeled; contact the Radiation Safety Office for handling. "Clinical
waste" that contains only H-3, C-14, or I-125 in concentrations
<0.05 uCi/gram is not regulated as radioactive waste and may be
disposed of as medical waste.
liquid waste must be stored in labeled containers that are compatible
with the waste materials. Contact the Environmental Management
Office for questions about compatibility. The Radiation Safety Office
can provide 5 gallon plastic carboys for aqueous waste. Liquid wastes
must not contain solids; such as pipette tips, gels, or filters. Liquid
waste should be segregated into the following categories.
soluble, biodegradable, non-hazardous aqueous liquids
liquid radioactive waste released via the sanitary sewerage system
must be water soluble, biodegradable, non-hazardous liquids.
Liquids containing less than 10 uCi may be poured down the sewer
system in quantities not to exceed 10 uCi total per Authorized
User per day. These disposals must be made only at designated,
posted sinks or other release points. Records must be kept of
all these disposals (in uCi) and the information must be provided
to the Radiation Safety Office on a monthly basis. The intent
of this permission is to dispose of small quantities of radioactivity
contained in large volumes of fluid (>1 liter). Examples of
such solutions are rinse water and buffer solutions. Radioactive
liquids discharged to the sanitary sewer should be flushed with
large amounts of running water. Liquid waste contaminated with
plutonium or hazardous chemical constituents may not be poured
down the sewer system.
containing greater than 10 uCi will be picked up by the Radiation
Safety Office for disposal. If the radionuclides have half-lives
<=120 days, the waste may be held for decay in the laboratory
and then disposed of into the sanitary sewer system (as described
above) after it has decayed to 10 uCi or less.
containing biohazards must be sterilized (by autoclave or chemical
methods) prior to pick up by the Radiation Safety Office. Contact
the Radiation Safety Officer for specific approval. Segregate
waste according to isotope and half-life, as follows:
C-14, or I-125 in concentrations <0.05 uCi/gram of waste
<= 120 days
> 120 days
liquids (mixed waste)
that is hazardous and radioactive is called mixed waste. This waste
is not permitted to be poured into the sewer system (this includes
biodegradable scintillation fluid). All mixed waste will be picked
up and disposed of by the Environmental Management Office. The
total mixed and hazardous waste in a laboratory cannot exceed 55 gallons.
waste containers must comply with all the rules for radioactive waste
and hazardous waste (e.g., must have a "Hazardous Waste"
label, date the container is full, list of the contents, etc.). The
Environmental Management Office will provide containers for
scintillation vials (30 or 55 gallon drums). Labs generating very
few vials may be provided 10-gallon waste receptacles. Containers
for bulk liquid mixed waste are not provided. Mixed waste must be
segregated into scintillation fluid waste or non-scintillation fluid
fluids - Segregate scintillation fluids into transuranics and
non-transuranics. Normal, flammable cocktail (flash point less
than 140_F) and "biodegradable" cocktail should be combined.
Use of biodegradable fluid is encouraged, as it minimizes the
amount of flammable liquid in the laboratory, but it still must
be treated as hazardous. The fluid may be in vials or in bulk
Drums - Proper packaging for vials drums (30 or 55 gallons) is
a 4-mil clear liner in the drum;
approximately 4 inches of absorbent material inside the liner;
a second 4 mil clear liner inside the first liner in drum;
fill inner container with vials (caps must be tightly fastened).
top must be kept on the drum at all times, except when filling
with vials. Leave a few inches of room at the top so that the
waste technician may properly close the drum. Note: Do not place
absorbent or other waste in with vials. Our waste vendor requires
this packaging method. If a smaller container is utilized, follow
the above directions.
Liquids - Bulk scintillation fluids must be placed into appropriate
containers. The recommended containers are 1-gallon glass jars
with screw tops. Do not mix bulk scintillation fluid with non-scintillation
radioactive waste or with other hazardous fluids.
fluids - The production of this waste is strongly discouraged
by the Radiation Safety Office. They are extremely expensive to
dispose of and, in some cases, impossible. Some examples of difficult
wastes are radioactive materials mixed with any:
liquids (e.g., xylene)
liquids (pH less than 2 or greater than 2.5)
Radiation Safety Office and the Environmental Management
Office shall be contacted prior to producing any of this type
of waste to see if it is banned and, if not, to determine proper
handling procedures. Laboratory procedures may have to be altered
to render the materials non-hazardous (for example, by neutralizing
acids or destroying peroxides).
Animal Excrement and Bedding
exempt (see below), all animal waste contaminated with radioactivity
must be picked up by the Radiation Safety Office, including carcasses,
excrement and bedding. Animals must be kept separate from excrement
and bedding. The Authorized User should have freezer space to
adequately store animals for a minimum of 90 days. If space is
not available, contact the Radiation Safety Office prior to generating
waste must be placed in a clear, 4 mil plastic bag prior to pick
up by the Radiation Safety Office. Freeze animals in an elongated
position to facilitate packing into a drum. Authorized Users are
responsible for insuring that the frozen carcasses will fit into
30-gallon drums. Animal waste shall be segregated according to
radionuclide half-life and concentration:
C-14, or I-125 in concentrations <=0.05 uCi/gram, averaged
over the initial weight of the animal (This material is not
regulated as radioactive waste and may be treated as normal
<=120 days or I-125 in concentrations >0.05 uCi/gram
>120 days or H-3 or C-14 in concentrations > 0.05 uCi/gram
Radiation Safety Office will provide "Radioactive Waste Receipt"
forms to all laboratories. The Authorized User (or designee) must complete
all applicable information. Use a separate ticket for each container.
Attach carbon copies to the waste container and mail the top copy to
the Radiation Safety Office. You may bring the copies to the Radiation
Safety Office to avoid the time required for campus mail.
all constituents of liquid waste, such as xylene, benzene and methanol,
and the percent of each. Record a pH measurement on the aqueous portion
of any waste. Describe any chemical or biological hazards present in
the waste. Mixed waste must follow all procedures required for hazardous
waste. The following will help in completing the waste forms:
waste - indicate container size (in gallons) and total activity of
waste (generally carboys) - indicate volume (in gallons) and total
activity of each radionuclide.
scintillation vials - indicate container size (in gallons), approximate
number of vials, and total activity of each radionuclide.
- indicate approximate volume, radionuclide(s), and total activity
per gram averaged over the initial weight of the animal(s).
ROOMS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE CONTAINERS
of safety and regulatory problems, the practice of shared waste containers
is strongly discouraged. Use of shared containers requires pre-approval.
The Radiation Safety Office can approve shared use upon application
and review. Mixed waste (e.g., scintillation vials) will also require
approval by Environmental Management. Approval will require one
Authorized User to take responsibility for the container and its contents
and may be terminated if the specific requirements below are not met.
Authorized Users must be specifically approved for use of the room
room must be posted and locked when unattended
Authorized User is responsible for conducting and documenting at least
monthly surveys and wipes of the area (one designated individual may
perform this function, but copies must be kept by all Authorized Users
records must be kept by each Authorized User
the container is full, a radioactive waste ticket must be filled out
for each Authorized User
Safety Manual | Appendix D | Appendix