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Environmental Health and Safety

Laboratory and Equipment Decommissioning

A.  When laboratories are vacated, all hazardous materials and wastes (i.e., chemical, radioactive and biological), must be properly disposed of. Work areas, storage areas and equipment used for hazardous materials including work benches, sinks, fume hoods, cabinets, refrigerators, microwaves and others must be cleaned and fully decontaminated. The general procedure is outlined below.  Please refer to the Lab and Equipment Decommissioning Policy [pdf] for detailed procedures when moving out of any university laboratory space.

  1. Contact EH&S 803-777-7650 or to request a decommissioning consultation.
  2. Refer to the laboratory Decommissioning Checklist [pdf]  for tasks that need to be completed.
  3. As applicable, arrange for the removal of all chemicals, biological and radioactive materials and wastes, and DEA controlled substances from the laboratory. If radioactive materials were used, coordinate with Radiation Safety 777-7530 or to facilitate clean-up of radioactive materials and transfer or termination of radiation license.
  4. Clean and decontaminate all work areas, storage areas and equipment used for hazardous materials. Attach Equipment Decommissioning form [pdf] to all decontaminated equipment.
  5. Contact EH&S or 777-7650 to schedule a decommissioning inspection. If non-conformances are found, the Principal Investigator is responsible for correcting them.  If there are no non-conformances, EH&S will formally decommission the lab by posting "unassigned lab" signage on the lab entrance door.

B.  When an equipment is to be disposed or transferred to a new location, the equipment must be cleaned and decontaminated before it can be handled by movers. Attach Equipment Decommissioning form [pdf] to the equipment.  Please note that as of June 2017, the university's Facilities Department no longer moves equipment to or from university Consolidated Services (Surplus). All requests to move items must be executed by outside commercial contractors. Please contact Consolidated Services for more information.

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