Plan Ahead When Purchasing Chemicals

As you know, there is a cost associated with disposing of hazardous waste.  What you may not realize is that there are extra charges or considerations for disposing of certain chemicals.  Please keep this in mind when purchasing, hoarding, or acquiring these chemicals.  We are not asking that you do not buy these chemicals, we are just asking that you keep this in mind.

The P-List, a list of toxic chemicals from the EPA, is available at 40CFR261.33 (available on http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/).

These items are acutely hazardous and are difficult for us to get rid of as hazardous waste.  If we get rid of too much of one or several of these items at one time, it could change our hazardous waste generator status and would therefore dramatically increase our costs and paperwork.

A few P-listed items we get fairly frequently as waste include 2,4-Dinitrophenol, potassium ferricyanide, and Osmium Tetroxide (OsO4).  If you need this chemical, please contact Karen Bovard in Pathology (x3963). She can provide the material to you.


"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulates the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety. The CDC Select Agent Program oversees these activities and registers all laboratories and other entities in the United States of America that possess, use, or transfer a select agent or toxin."

If we have certain quantities of these items on campus, we need to register with the CDC; therefore we need to know how much is coming and make sure to get people registered if they need to.  A list of these chemicals is available on the CDC's website. (pdf)

Additionally, many of these items need special treatment to be disposed of.


Other items require special handling (temperature control boxes, deactivation, special transportation costs, etc.).  These items will cost more to dispose of than the standard fees.  Some of these items include:

  •       Mercury and mercury-containing compounds
  •       Compressed gas cylinders, even if "empty"
  •       Formic acid
  •       Dioxins
  •       Controlled substances
  •       Reactive, temperature-controlled, or shock-sensitive items
  •       ATF's list of explosives