Pharmaceuticals and/or Active Ingredients that are Hazardous Wastes

Pharmaceuticals used for treatment in a hospital or clinic setting, as well as teaching and research must be disposed of and managed properly. Some specific drugs or the active ingredients are hazardous wastes and could harm human health or the environment if disposed of improperly. Other antiseptics, pain killers, antibiotics, etc. still require proper management and must not be disposed into sanity sewer system or normal trash. Always check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for indicators that the pharmaceuticals are hazardous and require special management through the chemical waste or biological waste programs. Some indicators are the words carcinogen or potential carcinogen, toxic, flammable, corrosive or hazardous. The National Fire Protection Association Fire Rating Diamond also will indicate if the material is hazardous. Contact DEHS for disposal guidance.

Also go to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's web site for a list of drugs and drug active ingredients that they regulate and which require special management. Contact DEHS if you use any of these compounds in your research or for treatment of patients.

Working with hazardous drugs and antineoplastic compounds can be hazardous to the researcher, lab technician, doctor or nurse. Please review the NIOSH publication, Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings (PDF document), and contact EHS at x8475 for information on the University's procedures for working with Hazardous Drugs or visit EHS Standard Operating Procedures/Job Hazard Analysis

Questions regarding chemical waste issues may be addressed to EHS or call 831-8475.