Summer Hours Through August 9, Lincoln is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and closed on Fridays. 

Lab Safety

Below, please find information to help maintain lab safety at Lincoln University, including how to dispose of nonhazardous material in the drain and trash.

Working in the lab alone?

Disposal of Nonhazardous Laboratory Waste Down the Sanitary Sewer

Research and other operations at Lincoln University generate chemical waste requiring disposal.  Some of these chemicals can be recycled in the chemical surplus program to be reused by other members of the LU community, while other chemicals are classified as hazardous waste and specific rules must be followed, prior to disposal, to be in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

Do not dispose of any chemicals into a storm sewer or similar untreated disposal options. Contact your local EHS representative for guidance in areas outside of the core campus.

Any questions regarding the disposal of chemicals generated in university operations (labs, shops, maintenance, campus life, building care, etc) should be directed to the Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer (HMCO). 

The following information should be included to expedite this process:

  • Constituents of the waste solution to be drain disposed.
  • Volume of the waste chemical to be disposed, e.g. one liter, 50 ml etc.
  • Concentrations of each constituent in the waste
  • Process from which the waste was generated.
  • Frequency of discharges
  • SDS or MSDS of constituents, or product name and manufacturer

Within individual work areas and laboratories, authorization for specific operations, delineation of appropriate safety procedures and instruction about these procedures is the responsibility of the Principal Investigators and/or supervisors. This includes appropriate chemical waste disposal practices and accidental discharge.

It is the responsibility of each LU employee to ensure that chemical waste generated from their activities is disposed of properly. Some materials may be safely disposed of into the sanitary sewer while most cannot be due to potential damage to human health and the environment.

Certain classes of chemicals cannot be poured down the drain - they must be collected, managed, and disposed of as hazardous waste using the LUPD HMCO waste procedures.  If you have questions regarding the proper collection and disposal of aqueous solutions, low concentrations, or small volumes of chemicals within the categories below, contact the HMCO at 573-681-5497. 

The following classes of chemicals are prohibited from drain disposal:

  • Any flammable liquids with a flashpoint less than 140 degrees F – including but not limited to any quantity of gasoline, kerosene, naptha, benzene, toluene, xylene, fuel oil, ethers, ketones, aldehydes, chlorates, perchlorates, bromates, carbides, hydrides, and sulfides.
    • This does not include aqueous solutions of these compounds that have a flashpoint greater than 140 degrees F.
  • Explosive chemicals.
  • Any Liquids, Solids or Gases that pose a fire hazard alone or can potentially interact with other chemicals in the sewer and become a fire or explosion hazard.
  • Solutions outside the pH range of 5.5 to 9.5. 
    • Labs may neutralize acids and bases to a pH within this range and then drain dispose, provided there are no prohibited items in the solution.
  • Halogenated hydrocarbons and aqueous mixtures containing halogenated hydrocarbons (including but not limited to: bromodichloromethane, chloroform, chloromethane, dibromochloromethane, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethene).
  • Insoluble materials.
  • Mercury Metal and mercury compounds such as Thimerosal, Mercuric Chloride, etc. (any discharge down the drain must be reported per the Accidental Discharge procedure).
  • Water reactive materials (including but not limited to aluminum alkyls, barium, lithium, potassium, sodium, sodium borohydride, zinc powder or zinc dust).
  • Radioactive materials.
  • Infectious substances.
  • Developer solutions containing Hydroquinone or heavy metals such as Barium or Selenium
  • Any solids or viscous substances capable of causing obstruction to the flow of sewers, including but not limited to:
    • Grease
    • Particulates greater than ½ inch in any direction
    • Animal products (gut or tissue, paunch manure, bones, hair, hides or fleshing, entrails, whole blood, feathers)
    • Ashes, cinders, sand, spent lime, stone or marble dust, metal, glass or residues from glass grinding or polishing, straw, shavings, grass clippings
    • Rags, waste paper, wood, plastics, rubber, tar, asphalt residues, mud
    • Residues from refining or processing of fuel or lubricating oil, petroleum oil, non-biodegradable cutting oil, or products of mineral oil origin
    • Water soluble polymers that could form gels in the sewer system
    • Any solution alone or by interaction with waste that can cause a noxious or malodorous gas (such as: Hydrogen Sulfide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide) that can be hazardous individually or by reaction with other components in the sewer.
    • Any chemical that either alone or if mixed with other wastes results in the presence of toxic gases, vapors and/or fumes that could be harmful to utilities workers or create a public nuisance.
  • Carcinogens as grouped by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Please Note: If you are generating or planning to generate large volumes of waste that you think may exceed these limits, then please contact HMCO further information.

The following list identifies chemicals that can be disposed of down the drain, providing the solution does not contain materials otherwise prohibited. 

  • Aqueous solutions such as salts and buffer solutions within the 5.5 to 9.5 pH range.
  • Chemicals that are water soluble and are non-hazardous by way of definition
  • Naturally occurring Amino Acids and Salts
  • Enzymes
  • Sugars
  • Proteins
  • Citric acid and its Na, K, Mg, Ca, and Ammonium Salts
  • Lactic acid and its Na, K, Mg, Ca and Ammonium Salts
  • Acids and bases that have been neutralized and fall within the 5.5 to 9.5 pH range.
  • Biological liquids that have been treated with disinfectant or autoclaved.
  • Mop water

Anyone causing an accidental discharge of prohibited material to the sanitary sewer must notify HMCO IMMEDIATELY during normal business hours at 573-681-5555.

This includes materials accidentally poured or spilled down the drain via sink, floor drain, or plumbed equipment.

Disposal of Nonhazardous Laboratory Waste as Regular Trash

Below, you will find a list of solid chemicals that are not considered hazardous and are, therefore, suitable for disposal with regular trash. However, neither custodians nor trash collectors can readily distinguish between hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. Therefore, laboratory personnel must securely package such waste for disposal and carry it to the dumpster. Information for how to securely package this nonhazardous waste is included below.
  • Enzymes
  • Sugars and sugar alcohols 
  • Starch 
  • Naturally occurring amino acids and salts 
  • Citric acid and its Na, K, Mg, Ca, NH4 salts 
  • Lactic acid and its Na, K, Mg, Ca, NH4 salts
  • Silica
  • Sulfates: Na, K, Mg, Ca, Sr, NH4 
  • Phosphates: Na, K, Mg, Ca, Sr, NH4 
  • Carbonates: Na, K, Mg, Ca, Sr, NH4 
  • Oxides: B, Mg, Ca, Sr, Al, Si, Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu 
  • Chlorides: Ca, Na, K, Mg, NH4 
  • Borates: Na, K, Mg, Ca
  • Chromatographic adsorbent
  • Glassware 
  • Filter papers 
  • Filter aids 
  • Rubber and plastic protective clothing
  • Package securely for the dumpster by using at least two layers of packaging so that material cannot spill during collection.
  • Leave label on the innermost container.
  • Label the outer container with the words "Non-hazardous". 
  • Place containers in the dumpster yourself since custodians do not handle chemicals, including nonhazardous laboratory chemicals.