RE: [Histonet] Waste on Benchmark XT

From:"Sebree Linda A."

Well stated Brad.

Linda A. Sebree
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
IHC/ISH Laboratory
DB1-223 VAH
600 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53792

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Brad Miller
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 11:29 AM
To:; Senn, Amy R;
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Waste on Benchmark XT

Hi Rene. To answer your first question, I would have to echo what Rich Strauss said in his post.  If the waste is found to be acceptable according to the EPA and local code, then the cost of using a special contractor is unnecessary and is therefore creating additional operational expense that is not needed.  The scientists at the EPA and your local municipal waste treatment facilities are pretty smart and can even be downright protective about their systems.  For that reason, my humble opinion would be that to second guess their directives in the name of environmentalism would not be necessary.

If you have the money to hire a contractor to dispose of all of your used reagents, then I think that's great...but there may be a better use for that money.  I would have to warn, and I'm sure you're already aware, that the specialized contractor does not have a magic wand that is waved over the waste.  From a purely environmental standpoint, this can be somewhat wasteful in itself, if unnecessary.  I can think of 4 reasons, just off the top of my head:
  1.. These contractors tend to use very large furnaces and tremendous amounts of energy to burn much of the waste.  If everyone sent unnecessary effluent to the specialized contractor (as many people do) then think of the amounts of energy (electricity, fuel, whatever) used for no reason.  I wouldn't call this behavior outrageous or irresponsible, though...just uninformed.
  2.. Also, while precautions are taken to reduce air pollution through this type of disposal, it still happens (see below).  
  3.. This is to say nothing about the occasional leaky container that winds up draining into the storm drain which does not have the same capacity to deal with waste that the sewer system does.  
  4.. And finally, the untold part of this type of disposal is that these contractors can be located in any area zoned as "commercial" which means they can even be dangerously located near neighborhoods.  Does anyone remember the town of Apex in North Carolina that needed to be evacuated in 2006 because of a "chemical fire"?  That was one of these hazardous waste facilities.  You can read about it here   
To be environmentally conscious is absolutely the way to go, but to educate one's self about the cause can yield even better results!  And I would agree, Rene, that any principle that claims that bad stuff is okay because there's other bad stuff out there would not be valid or responsible. But if that's a reference to my comment about sterile processing, then I would have to say respectfully that you may have missed my point.  That point being that if the waste coming from the XT is deemed acceptable to the EPA and local code, then Amy and her facility most certainly have much larger and more valid concerns than the acceptable waste from the instrument.  Does that make sense?
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Rene J Buesa 
  To: Senn, Amy R ; ; Brad Miller 
  Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 7:03 AM
  Subject: Re: [Histonet] Waste on Benchmark XT

        From the practical point of view, what costs more, the analysis that may turn out to show the requirement of discarding by a specialized contractor any way, or just doing that from the beginning?
        Are you going to test ALL your used reagents? For me there is a clear action to take: do not discard into the sewer and treat everything as hazardous and use the services of a specialized waste management company.
        The "principle" that we can add "bad stuff" because there is already a "lot of bad stuff" out there is, from the environmental point of view, just outrageous and totally irresponsible!
        René J.

        --- On Tue, 10/7/08, Brad Miller  wrote:

          From: Brad Miller 
          Subject: Re: [Histonet] Waste on Benchmark XT
          To: "Senn, Amy R" ,
          Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 11:45 PM

Amy, you should certainly contact the customer service folks at Ventana to 
see if they have heard of this before.  I would suspect they have.  If so, 
they may be able to give you some specific info about the waste that would 
help you.

But to be certain, you can take the results from your analysis (yes Rene J, 
there are Analytical Laboratories all over the country that specialize in 
this type of test via organic extraction, toxicity bioassay, and other EPA 
regulated testing) and find out how they comply with your local code.  You 
can find the local codes for your municipality on   One 
thing you will want to be sure about, your municipality is (most likely) 
only concerned with the waste that comes out of the facility as a whole...or 
"end of pipe".  That's helpful to you because your waste gets
diluted many 
times over before it gets to the "end of pipe".  And, yes, it is not
to dilute waste like this for the sake of getting past the local waste 
enforcement, but if it gets diluted in the course of leaving the building, 
that's usually okay according to federal hazardous waste regulations (40
261) which can be found at

Try not to worry too much about the alligators in the sewer..there is a 
bunch of nasty stuff much worse than LCS coming from that building if it's
hospital...I assure you.  Just think about all the goo coming from sterile 

Anyway I hope that helps.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Senn, Amy R" 
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 7:33 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Waste on Benchmark XT


From: Senn, Amy R
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 8:33 AM
To: Senn, Amy R

Hello Histoland,

We have a Benchmark XT.  The sales rep told us it was ok to dump the
waste down the drain.  THEN we were told that the waste is hazardous and
actually causes mutant changes in lab animals.  (wow, I could turn into
Rogue or Storm! My luck, I'd be Beast or Toad . . . . .)

Anyway, can I get some feedback from you guys about how you dispose of
the waste from the Benchmark XT?  We had someone here to test it, but
we're still waiting for results.


Amy, Camp Hill PA



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