Chemical Management Campaign

As outlined in the EHSO Guidelines for Chemical Waste Management in Laboratories, chemical management is one of many methods that the Emory University EHSO uses to reduce chemical waste from laboratories. Follow these steps to participate in the chemical inventory management & control improvement campaign: 

  1. Review your chemical inventory and identify any unwanted, obsolete or certain reactive chemicals
  2. Submit your waste collection request online by clicking the "Waste Collection" button below:

Waste Collection Button

Chemical Waste Disposal Documents

Chemical Waste FAQ

What is the cost to my laboratory for participating in this campaign?

There are no direct costs to the laboratory for participating in this campaign. In general, chemical waste management costs are billed at a department level and are covered through indirect cost recovery.

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What is an unwanted or obsolete chemical?

Unwanted chemicals are chemicals that are no longer needed in the current research activities of the laboratory. Some common cases where unwanted chemicals may generate from include:

  • Completion of a specific research project
  • Inherited chemicals from a laboratory that is no longer at Emory University
  • Laboratories that are preparing to relocate within Emory University or elsewhere

Obsolete chemicals are chemicals that are no longer usable by the laboratory. Some common examples include:

  • Certain reactive chemicals that have passed their accepted shelf-life or have been stored improperly
  • Reagent bottles with visible damage such as cracked or chipped lids, or with labels that are in poor condition
  • Empty lecture gas cylinders
  • Unsuitable for redistribution

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Which reactive chemicals are included in this campaign?

When a reactive chemical has not been stored properly, or laboratory personnel cannot verify the storage practices used, the reactive chemical can be out of specification.  It then be obsolete. Some common examples include:

  • Open diethyl ether cans with an open date over 12 months old, or with no open date written
  • Unused hydrofluoric acid
  • Solid picric acid not maintained with a hydration program
  • Reactive chemicals that do not have written storage procedures

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Which reactive chemicals are excluded in this campaign?

In general, laboratory personnel determine the usability of reactive chemicals in research activities.

  • Reactive chemicals stored by the accepted practices, and are handled the lab specific operating procedures, these chemicals are excluded from this campaign. 

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What are some ways laboratories can improve chemical management?

Since all labs are unique, several options are available to choose from. EHSO will provide guidance on the best option(s) for a given laboratory.

  • Maintain an excel file with all chemicals used in the laboratory and the quantity of each chemical on hand. A free electronic service called Quartzy® can be used as well.
  • Order the absolute minimum of a needed chemical, rather than a bulk quantity.
  • Develop a system for identifying unused chemicals in the lab. The most basic system is to mark chemical containers with a color that indicates the year the chemical was last used.
  • Use the oldest available selection of a chemical, before using newer bottles. If you do not wish to use the oldest available selection, it can be considered as unwanted. 

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