Chemical Waste

image of chemicalsA common form of hazardous waste that is produced on campus is chemical waste. This covers all unwanted chemicals remaining after the completion of a set of experiments, the departure of a member of staff, or those chemicals no longer required when a Department is relocated.

Disposal must take place at the earliest opportunity: chemicals left to accumulate in hidden areas can present dangers and difficulties years later!


Storage of Chemicals and Chemical Waste

Storage and disposal of chemicals and chemical waste is controlled by various pieces of legislation, including the Control of Substances Hazardous to Human Health (COSHH) Regulations (2002).

This regulation requires that a COSHH risk assessment is carried out prior to the possession or use of any hazardous chemicals. More information on Newcastle University's COSHH Management Standard and COSHH Risk Assesments can be found on the Safety Office webpages.

The regulations also requires that persons liable to be exposed to chemicals that may be a risk to human health are provided with suitable and sufficient information through access to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Risk Assessments. This includes staff and students working with the chemical or in the areas where they are being used or stored.

It is important that this infromation is available to ensure that appropraite action (based on the hazardous properies of the chemical) can be taken in the event of a spill.

It is important to also ensure that suitable spill kits are available in the areas where chemicals are being used as well as the areas where they are being stored so they can be quickly accessed in the event of a spill.