8.2.2 Hazardous Waste Determination

Determining if a chemical waste meets the regulatory definition of a hazardous waste can be difficult and requires specific training. Therefore, it is the UMN policy that all staff assumes that all chemical wastes are hazardous and must be managed by UHS for proper disposal unless told otherwise. Chemical wastes should never be thrown in the trash or poured down the drain without first seeking permission from UHS. While it is the UMN policy to assume all chemical waste is hazardous, this section describes the details of how hazardous waste is defined by the EPA and MPCA.

There are two criteria to determine if a waste is classified as hazardous waste. First, determine if the waste exhibits one or more of the following characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity. Second, determine if the waste is listed by the EPA as a hazardous waste.

Characterisitic Hazardous Waste:

Characteristic hazardous waste is waste that is ignitable, oxidant, corrosive, reactive, toxic, or lethal. The specific criteria for characteristic hazardous waste are listed in Table 8.1. A waste is considered to exhibit the characteristic of toxicity if it is in concentrations greater than the regulatory thresholds listed in Table 8.2.

Table 8.1 – Criteria and Characteristics of Ignitability, Corrosivity, and Reactivity

EPA Waste Code

Criteria 

Ignitable (D001)

A waste that meets any of the following criteria:

  • A liquid whose flashpoint is less than 60⁰ Celsius (140⁰ Fahrenheit) is an ignitable waste. However, water-based solutions (50% or more water) containing less than 24% alcohol are not ignitable, regardless of their flashpoint.
  • A solid that will spontaneously combust or ignite through friction or by absorbing moisture and once ignited, will burn vigorously and persistently that it creates a hazard.
  • A compressed gas that will either burn when mixed at 13% or less with air or has a flammability range of 12% or more, regardless of the lower limit.
Oxidizer (D001)

A waste that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Is defined by an oxidizer under the Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.
  • Readily supplies oxygen to a chemical reaction or acts similarly to oxygen in a reaction.
Corrosive (D002)

A waste that meets any of the following criteria:

  • An aqueous liquid (20 percent or more water) that has a pH of 2 or less or 12.5 or more; or,
  • A liquid that corrodes steel at a rate of 0.25 inches or more per year.
Reactive (D003)

A waste that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Instability and readiness to undergo violent change;
  • Violent reactions when mixed with water;
  • Formation of potentially explosive mixtures when mixed with water;
  • Generation of toxic fumes in quantities sufficient to present a danger to human health or the environment when mixed with water;
  • Cyanide or sulfide waste which generate toxic fumes when exposed to acidic conditions;
  • Ease of detonation or explosive reaction when exposed to pressure or heat; or
  • Ease of detonation or explosive decomposition or reaction at standard temperature and pressure.
Toxic (D004 – D043) See Table 8.2
Lethal (MN01)

A waste that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Oral LD50 (rat) 500 mg/kg
  • Dermal LD50 (rabbit) 1000 mg/kg
  • Inhalation LC50 (rat):
    • Dust/mist 2000 mg/m3
    • Gas/vapor 1000 mg/L

Table 8.2 – Criteria and Characteristics of Toxicity

EPA Waste Code

Chemical Name

Regulatory Threshold (mg/L)

EPA Waste Code

Chemical Name

Regulatory Threshold (mg/L)

D004 Arsenic 5.0 D024 m-Cresol 200.0
D005 Barium 100.0 D025 p-Cresol 200.0
D006 Cadmium 1.0 D026 Cresol 200.0
D007 Chromium 5.0 D027 1,4-Dichlorobenzene 7.5
D008 Lead 5.0 D028 1,2-Dichloroethane 0.5
D009 Mercury 0.2 D029 1,1-Dichloroethylene 0.7
D010 Selenium 1.0 D030 2,4-Dinitrotoluene 0.13
D011 Silver 5.0 D031 Heptachlor (and its epoxide) 0.008
D012 Endrin 0.02 D032 Hexachlorobenzene 0.13
D013 Lindane 0.4 D033 Hexachlorobutadiene 0.5
D014 Methoxychlor 10.0 D034 Hexachloroethane 3.0
D015 Toxaphene 0.5 D035 Methyl ethyl ketone 200.0
D016 2,4-D 10.0 D036 Nitrobenzene 2.0
D017 2,4,5-TP (Silvex) 1.0 D037 Pentachlorophenol 100.0
D018 Benzene 0.5 D038 Pyridine 5.0
D019 Carbon tetrachloride 0.5 D039 Tetrachloroethylene 0.7
D020 Chlordane 0.03 D040 Trichloroethylene 0.5
D021 Chlorobenzene 100.0 D041 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol 400.0
D022 Chloroform 6.0 D042 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol 2.0
D023 o-Cresol 200.0 D043 Vinyl Chloride 0.2

Listed Hazardous Waste: 
Wastes may be hazardous if the EPA specifically lists them on of four lists for hazardous waste:

  1. F list
  2. K list
  3. P list
  4. U list

The F list includes wastes from nonspecific sources. At the UMN, the most common F listed waste is waste generated from the use of organic solvents. This includes waste mixtures of organic solvents and debris and/or media contaminated with organic solvents. Table 2.3 lists the most common F listed wastes found at the UMN.

Table 8.3 – Common Listed Hazardous Wastes from Non-Specific Sources (F001 – F005)

EPA Waste Code

Waste Listing

F001 (Spent solvents used in degreasing) 1,1,1-trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, chlorinated fluorocarbons, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene
F002 (Spent solvents) 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, chlorobenzene, methylene chloride, o-dichlorobenzene, tetrachloroethylene, trichlorofluoromethane
F003 (Spent solvents) Acetone, cyclohexanone, ethyl acetate, ethyl ether, methanol, methyl isobutyl ketone, n-butyl alcohol, xylene
F004 (Spent solvents) Cresols, cresylic acid, nitrobenzene
F005 (Spent solvents) 2-ethoxyethanol, 2-nitropropene, benzene, carbon disulfide, isobutyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, pyridine, toluene

The K list includes wastes generated from specific industrial process and is not typically applicable at a university setting.

The P list (Appendix A) and the U list (Appendix B) include pure or commercial grade formulations of specific unused chemicals. Chemicals on the P list are considered acutely toxic and chemicals on the U list are considered toxic. Chemicals on both the P and U lists can also display other characteristics, such as ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity.

1. Individual Chemical Hygiene Responsibilities

1. Individual Chemical Hygiene Responsibilities

2. Laboratory Management

3. Laboratory Design and Commissioning

4. Training

5. Experiment Planning and SOPs

6. Safety Equipment

7. Chemical Management

8. Chemical Waste Guidelines

9. Emergency Procedures

10. Medical Surveillance and Injury Reporting

11. Appendices