Mixing of chemicals for disposal


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Mixing of chemicals before disposal seems to me to be a hazardous and 
counterproductive thing to do.

It seems to me that we're dealing here with an irreducible conflict between 
scientific and management views of the nature of matter. Scientifically, the 
stuff continues to be reactive and hazardous when it's mixed. From a 
management viewpoint, if I understand aright, once it's labeled "waste" it 
undergoes transubstantiation into a form no longer hazardous as long as it's 
disposed of according to ritual. - I've seen this uncontrolled mixing go on 
in at least two labs, and was reassured both times by managers that it was 
all right because it was designated waste.

Just an observation from an old pathologist with no management training.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 09:41:18 -0800
From: Jennifer MacDonald <jmacdona@mtsac.edu>
Subject: Re: Mixing of chemicals for disposal
To: Mike Kirby <mikek@mail.saimr.wits.ac.za>,
        Histonet <HistoNet@Pathology.swmed.edu>
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We have always combined all of our wastes.  The company that hauls our waste
is aware of the combinations and has no problem with it.  The company we
used prior was the same.  We do not add any reagents containing picric acid
to this mixture.  These are taken separately.

Jennifer MacDonald

> Fellow Histonetters.
> In our Organisation, we tend to combine our waste solvents (Ethanol &
> Xylene)with the formalin waste into one drum, and then send it away for
> disposal. I have been informed that this is a "no, no" and that formalin
> should be kept in it's own, as it can form an explosive mixture if
> with the solvents.
> True or false?
> Mike Kirby
> S.A.I.M.R
> Johannesburg
> South Africa.


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