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Hazardous Waste and Laser Safety Policy

Any proposal involving the use of chemical materials, hazardous waste, and/or radiation/laser energy must receive the approval of the Environmental Health Manager, David Armanini, who can be reached at Ext. 5-2040, or by e-mail at daaehs@rit.edu.

The following information is provided by EHS:

  1. Hazardous Waste: If the project will generate hazardous waste, the Principal Investigator must evaluate how much will be generated, the cost of disposal, any unknown waste that may be generated, and how they will manage the waste in accordance with EPA and NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation rules and regulations. It is preferred and actually required that the generator make meaningful attempts to minimize the hazardous waste produced. EHS is responsible to oversee the waste disposal and we need specific information and proper labeling on each waste product so that we can do our job properly. RIT is considered a "large quantity generator" (LQG) under the regulations which requires additional storage, labeling and handling procedures.
  2. Hazardous Chemicals: The use of toxic chemicals in labs is nothing new. A critically important component of any lab safety program is the evaluation of the hazards in the lab and the protection of the employees and students working in the lab. Extremely toxic materials (P-listed chemicals) need to be scrutinized carefully as to how they are used (in a lab hood) and if there is a substitute that is less toxic. Minimizing the use of highly toxic materials by micro-scaling experiments is very effective in reducing exposure and minimizing the waste generated.
  3. Radiation Safety: The RIT Radiation Safety Officer, prior to ordering radioactive materials, must approve the purchase order. This is a requirement of the NYS Dept. of Health and RIT's written Radiation Safety Program. Once we know who, what and where, we can generally accommodate the use of radioactive materials. If radioactive waste is going to be generated, the cost is very prohibitive and the paper work involved is substantial. Lasers are also a concern, especially Class IV lasers and we do have a written Laser Safety Policy that follows the ANSI Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers. People requiring more information should review relevant laws and regulations for environmental health and safety.

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