[Histonet] Waste down the drain

Martin, Erin Erin.Martin <@t> ucsf.edu
Fri Nov 12 11:07:05 CST 2010

In reading all the comments about waste down the drain, proprietary ingredients, etc., keep in mind that disposal regulations are different everywhere and NO vendor will tell you anything other than to follow those regs and/or play it safe and tell you to haul it away.  At a previous employer in San Francisco I used Ventana immuno stainers and we hauled the waste away.  It was expensive to haul away, and was difficult to get guidance on disposal because of the proprietary ingedients in the waste mix.  So our lab director sent a sample of the waste from the the stainers to an environmental services lab for testing.  The results of the LD50 and other analyses apparently indicated that the actual toxicity was quite low.  He then sent the testing report to the city/county for instructions on how to dispose of the waste.  The city/county responded in writing (good for records!) that it was permissible to dump it down the drain.  I wasn't thrilled with it, but our lab director was.  We kept that report and the response from the city/county on file to show to inspectors.

It's up to you to figure out the appropriate way to handle your waste in your area, not your vendor.  There's no way they would know all the different regulations for every state, city or town.  They are all different and quite confusing.  The cost of the lab test might be a worthwhile investment because you would have specifics to show your environmental safety people or local regulatory agency, which would make it easier for them to give you guidance.

Erin Martin

Erin Martin, Histology Supervisor
UCSF Department of Dermatopathology

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