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Laboratory Decommisioning Guide

 Please contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 for additional guidance information.

Introduction

This guide is intended to provide principal investigators, researchers, instructors, managers, supervisors with information on the safe and proper procedures for decommissioning a laboratory or laboratory support areas (cold rooms, common rooms, etc.) where hazardous materials (chemical, biological, radioactive) or hazardous operations were or are being conducted.

In addition, this guide will also provide information on the steps to be taken if a piece of equipment (appliances, hoods, instruments, etc.) are to be removed from service (repair, maintenance, disposal, etc.) or transferred to storage, another user or institution.

These procedures apply when a Principal Investigator is:

  • Leaving or retiring from the University
  • Closing a laboratory or laboratory area
  • Relocating to another laboratory within the University
  • Renovating the laboratory or laboratory area
  • Transferring the responsibility of the laboratory and or piece of equipment to another researcher
  • Moving and or transporting hazardous materials, equipment, instruments and/or appliances that may be contaminated with hazardous materials.
  • Disposal of materials, equipment, instruments and or appliances that may have been contaminated with hazardous materials.
  • Needs a piece of equipment cleared for repair/maintenance

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the individual investigator to obtain clearance from EHRS prior to vacating a laboratory, laboratory support area and/or shared spaces. In addition, clearance is also required prior to moving or disposing of any equipment (i.e. appliance, hoods, instruments, etc.) that may have been contaminated with a hazardous material. The investigators department is ultimately responsible for obtaining clearance in the event the researcher is uncooperative or is otherwise unable to complete the decommissioning process due to termination or death.

Notification

The principal investigator or investigators department shall notify EHRS at least 30 days in advance. Advanced notification is necessary to ensure the safe and proper disposal and decontamination of all equipment and hazardous materials within the laboratory. Failure to provide advance notification may result in unnecessary cost that may be charged back to the investigator or investigators department.

Notification can be made by contacting EHRS at 215-707-2520 or via e-mail at ehrs@temple.edu.

The following information must be included in your notification:

  • Principal Investigators Name, Department, phone number and e-mail
  • Primary Contact Name (if other than PI), Department, phone number and e-mail
  • Reason for Decommission\Clearance
  • Lab location or areas that you wish to be decommissioned\Clearance. Include building and room numbers.
  • New lab location (Building and room(s), new institution)-needed information if you will be transferring any hazardous materials.
  • Inform EHRS what hazardous materials (chemical, biological, radioactive) and/or equipment (Biological safety cabinets, fume hoods, lasers, etc.) are present in the lab(s) you plan on vacating.
  • Inform EHRS if you require clearance for a piece of equipment. Please include type of equipment a brief description or reason for the clearance.
  • Inform EHRS if you intend on transferring responsibility of the laboratory, laboratory support area or piece of equipment to another researcher.
  • Inform EHRS if you share space with another researcher or have hazardous materials or equipment in common rooms, freezers, etc. Please include Building and room numbers where applicable.

EHRS staff will be in contact with the investigator or investigators department with additional instruction and/or to schedule a preliminary visit to the space.

Clearance Procedure

  • All activity involving hazardous materials should be stopped as soon as possible. Some elements of the process may take several days to weeks to thoroughly complete.
  • The following must be completed prior to receiving clearance from EHRS.
    • All hazardous materials must be removed.
    • All Hazardous waste must be properly disposed
    • All potentially contaminated equipment (appliances, instruments, etc.) must be decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant.
    • Refer to the sections below for assistance.
    • Schedule an EHRS inspection (see section below on EHRS inspection.)

Chemical Safety

  • Immediately begin to inventory your chemicals. This may be a very time consuming task.
  • Evaluate if any of your chemicals are unopened or can be used by another researcher. Notify EHRS if you are unable to identify a researcher who can use or wants these chemicals.
  • Hazardous waste and unwanted chemicals must be labeled as hazardous waste and inventoried on a waste pickup request form.
    • Refer to the Chemical waste guide for detailed instruction on the preparation and disposal of chemicals.
    • Complete the Pickup Request Form under the Chemical Waste section and submit electronically (E-mail request) or fax to 2-1600
  • Immediately contact EHRS if any unknown chemicals or gases are present
  • Return any gas cylinder back to the supplier
  • Clean and decontaminate any surface or piece of equipment that may have come into contact with a hazardous material.
  • Clean out all chemical fume hoods. All chemicals, equipment, waste, etc. must be removed from the fume hood and any associated cabinetry or casework. The chemical fume hood (inside surfaces and all outside surfaces) must be wiped down with an appropriate cleanser.
  • Check refrigerators, freezers, bench tops and cabinets for chemical containers.
  • Confirm that all chemicals/gases have been removed from the laboratory or laboratory support areas.
  • See section titled “Moving, transporting or shipping hazardous materials and equipment” if you intend on moving\shipping any chemicals within the University or to another institution.

Radiation Safety

  • Determine and set the last day of active isotope use.
  • Conduct a survey (wipe test, meter), decontaminate if necessary and resurvey.
  • Collect all radioactive waste and submit a pickup to EHRS as soon as possible.
  • Complete the Pickup Request Form under the Radiation Waste section and submit electronically( E-mail request) or fax to 2-1600
  • Confirm that all radioactive materials or sources have been removed from the laboratory or laboratory support areas.
  • Schedule a closeout survey with EHRS. A responsible person must be present during the closeout survey.
  • See section titled “Moving, transporting or shipping hazardous materials and equipment” if you intend on moving\shipping any radioactive materials within the University or to another institution.

CDC Select Agents

  • Contact EHRS for disposal or shipping/transfer instructions.
  • Federal regulations and University procedures must be followed to ensure the proper management for select agents.

Biological Safety

  • Clean and decontaminate any surfaces and/or piece(s) of equipment that may have come into contact with a biological or potentially infectious material with an appropriate disinfectant.
  • Properly autoclave/dispose of all infectious/biological waste.
  • Properly dispose of all sharps, including unused items.
  • Ensure that all biological safety cabinets (BSC) and laminar flow hoods have been cleaned and properly decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant.
  • Biological Safety Cabinets are to be decontaminated by an outside vendor unless a special waiver is given by EHRS.
  • See section titled “Moving, transporting or shipping hazardous materials and equipment” if you intend on moving\shipping any biological/infectious materials within the University or to another institution.

Controlled Substances

  • EHRS will not handle or dispose of your controlled substances.
  • The DEA registrant must properly transfer or dispose his/her controlled substances in accordance to DEA regulations. Please refer to the Research Use of Controlled Substances Guide.
  • Contact EHRS if the registrant is no longer at Temple University.

Equipment

  • All equipment (appliances, instruments, hoods, etc.) must be completely empty of all hazardous materials.
  • All non-fixed equipment and supplies are required to be removed from laboratories for closeout or relocation.
  • All equipment must be properly decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant.
  • Complete an equipment decontamination form for any piece of equipment that has been decontaminated.
  • Refer to the Laboratory Decommissioning Quick Reference Chart

General

  • Immediately notify EHRS of any special hazards in the laboratory. Examples include but not limited to:
    • Hoods where the heating of acids (especially perchloric) took place
    • Areas where spills have occurred
    • Areas where contamination still exists.
  • Remove all lab matting, absorbents or chucks from all benches and cabinets.
  • Check all drawers, cabinets, storage areas and shelves for any remaining hazardous materials, razor blades, syringes, needles, pipette tips, sharps or evidence of potential contamination.
  • Empty all drawers
  • Ensure that all laboratory support areas (cold rooms, common rooms, etc.) and/or shared areas are free of hazardous materials or potential contamination.
  • All surfaces must be properly decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant.
  • All equipment that is non serviceable or is no longer needed in the lab should be disposed or placed into surplus.
  • All empty containers and laboratory glassware should be properly surplused or disposed. All glassware, glass containers, pipettes, etc. must be placed in a broken glass box and sealed for disposal.

Moving, Transporting or Shipping Hazardous Materials or Equipment

  • EHRS must be notified in advance of your intent to move, transport, or ship hazardous materials or equipment (appliances, instruments, hoods, etc.) on-campus, off-campus to another institution or to another University researcher.
  • All equipment must be properly decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant prior to shipping, transporting or moving.
  • Federal and State regulations have specific packaging, labeling, manifesting and operational requirements for anyone who moves, transports or ships hazardous materials.
  • The moving or transportation of hazardous materials in personal or University owned vehicle is prohibited unless preapproved by EHRS.
  • Complete an equipment decontamination form to any piece of equipment that has been decontaminated.
  • Do not move, transport, transfer or ship any hazardous materials until you have approval from EHRS.

EHRS Inspection

The final step is a formal inspection by EHRS of the laboratory, laboratory support area, shared spaces and/or equipment:

  • All instructions provided by EHRS and all items listed into his guide must be completed where applicable.
  • The investigator or investigator department must submit the appropriate clearance form(s) to EHRS.
  • The completed form must be submitted to EHRS no later than 4 days prior than the clearance is needed.
  • The form must be completed, signed and dated by the investigator or investigators department.
    • Certificate of Vacancy Clearance Form- To be completed when a laboratory or laboratory support area is completely free of hazardous materials.
    • Equipment Decontamination Form- To be completed prior to any equipment that may have been contaminated with hazardous materials is being disposed or moved.
  • EHRS will contact the investigator or investigator department to set up a time when EHRS can conduct a site visit. EHRS will conduct an assessment and certify the form if all required items are completed.
  • Upon successful completion, EHRS will send a copy of the signed completed form to the investigator, investigator department and Facilities Management.

EHRS will attempt to assist in any instances where a clearance is not able to be completed due to potential deadlines or failure of an investigator or investigator department to complete the required tasks. The investigator or investigators department may be charged for any cost incurred under these circumstances.

Related Information

EHRS Handbook 1.5: Vacating Laboratory Spaces

Certificate of Lab Vacancy

Lab Decommissioning/Equipment and Materials Quick Reference Chart

Controlled Substances Used In Research Guide

Contact EHRS

Phone: 2-2520 or 215-707-2520 (off campus)

Waste Pickup (to request a pickup)