Hazardous Waste Definitions

The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines exactly what a hazardous waste is. These definitions can be found in 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 261. This list is provided for information only and to comply with the storage quantity limitations. There are many other compounds that must be disposed of through DEHS that are not listed below. Many other Federal, State and Local regulations dictate what must be managed as chemical and hazardous waste.

Characteristic Waste-A Laboratory (Satellite Accumulation Area) cannot accumulate more than 55-gallons of characteristic waste. Laboratories must contact DEHS before the 55-gallon limit is reached.

  • Ignitability - materials having flash points less than 140°F.
  • Corrosivity - materials having a pH less than 2 or greater than 12.5.
  • Reactivity - materials that tend to be unstable at normal temperatures and pressures or materials that may react violently when exposed to air, mixed with water or other chemicals releasing acutely toxic fumes or gases (i.e. cyanides, sodium azide, osmium tetroxide, ethers, etc.).
  • Toxicity (PDF format) - materials that contain one or more of 39 specific contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, VOC's) at concentrations greater.

Acutely Toxic Waste (PDF format) - A laboratory (Satellite Accumulation Area) cannot store more that one quart of acutely toxic waste. Laboratories must contact DEHS before the 1 quart limit reached.Questions regarding chemical waste issues may be addressed to EHS or call 831-8475.