Lab Packing — Guide to Hazardous Waste Disposal

A lab pack is a massive container that is used to transport smaller waste containers.  These smaller containers in the lab pack are thoroughly sorted and sealed with a substance that doesn’t react chemically. This is to ensure that the hazardous chemical is safely transported for disposal.

Laboratories and other industries that produce harmful chemical by-products use lab packs as an easy and affordable option for exporting harmful materials off-site. These chemicals are usually carefully packaged in categories, such as flammable, oxidizers, and acids. 

Characteristics of Hazardous Waste

A substance will be classified as hazardous if it is detrimental to human health and the environment, especially when they are not managed properly. A material will be regarded as hazardous if it fits any of the criteria below:

Inflammable:  Can be easily ignited in the right conditions; e.g solvents, paints, etc.

Reactive:  Produce fumes, vapor, or gas in a mixture of water, or under different conditions such as pressure or heat; e.g sulfide producing waste.

Toxic: Is dangerous when absorbed or ingested into groundwater or soil; e.g. cadmium, or mercury.

Corrosive:  Destroys metals due to their high or low pH; e.g alkaline, cleaning fluid, and battery acid. 

You can go to: https://www.epa.gov/ to learn more about how to manage your hazardous waste.

Materials That Can Be Transported With Lab Pack

Lab packing is the best way to ship and dispose of huge quantities of the various hazardous waste substances. Below are materials disposed of in lab packs: 

  • Flammable or explosive materials 
  • Oxidizers
  • Solvents
  • Paints and paint thinners 
  • Peroxides
  • Acids or bases
  • Medical waste
  • Radioactive materials
  • Paints, dyes, and inks
  • Disinfecting and cleaning agents
  • Universal waste
  • Unlabeled and unfamiliar containers.

Since federal guidelines involve several classes of hazard, group packing, and special shipping names for dangerous waste, it is highly dangerous to store chemicals together.  Lab packing materials should only be done by trained individuals.

Benefits of Lab Packing

Due to the danger of chemical substances that could harm the environment and the people in it, lab packs help organizations to dispose of these harmful chemicals that can’t be eliminated through the usual disposable means. The essence of lab packing is to adhere to federal rules that ensure that dangerous materials are properly, processed, moved out of the source, and disposed of.

Guide to Hazardous Waste Disposal

Hazardous waste management requires some necessary skills, especially for waste generated from the lab, they are regulated by laboratory workers who are conversant with chemical processes.

Acid-Base Neutralization

Strong, undiluted acid or bases are reduced to quantities of twenty-five milliliters or less, it must also be diluted before being neutralized and disposed into the sanitary sewer. Quantities that surpass 25ml should be regulated by the environmental management division of IUEHS.

Any amount of Oxidizing acids with chromic, nitric, and picric acid must be managed by the division as well as acids containing heavy metals.

Neutralization Procedures

Warning; gasses and heat is produced during neutralization. Perform these steps gently and ensure that while neutralizing, your containers are at a cool temperature. 

Acid Neutralization: 

Use plenty of cold water and a suitable organic base. Mix the solution while gently putting in diluted acid. 

Base Neutralization

First of all, the base should be added to a large water container. Then, gently add the inorganic acid. Let the content react for fifteen minutes to dispel any heat before checking the pH. The container should not be smoking or hot. If it persists after fifteen minutes, give it time for the reaction to continue before proceeding to the other step.

Meanwhile, test the final solution to be sure of a pH from 5 and 9, then flush to the sewer with a large amount of water.

Vermiculite In Shipping 

They are used to transport dangerous goods as well as hazardous materials. It is known to absorb minerals due to its spongy structure. This helps corrosive materials stay dry and prevent hazardous situations while shipping. 

Vermiculite doesn’t seep harmful gas or break down even when exposed to chemicals. It compresses the shock related to shipping. Vermiculite also retards flame and is immune to fire.  

This makes it the ideal universal tool used for transporting all kinds of hazardous materials. Click here to learn more about hazardous waste disposal.

Separate Substances

With an authorized chemist supervising the separation or combination of various chemicals, fill small containers with hazmats and pack them with larger containers. Pack corrosive material with other corrosive materials, flammable and it likes.

Hazardous Waste Containers

Several containers are used for storing various types of hazardous waste, using the correct vessel for each type is very important. Any container used for storing hazardous waste must be approved by the United Nations. Also, ensure that the containers are well dried and clean, free from cuts, corrosion, or any debris. Lastly, store your containers in a vertical position.

Conclusion

Hazardous waste can be very toxic to human health as well as our environment; consequently, it can lead to severe health problems and can be deadly when ingested, absorbed, or inhaled. Because of this, several countries use lab packing to avoid harmful consequences.