ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Environment

Academic lab waste

August 21, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 34

The article on waste in academiclaboratories omits the role that the American Chemical Society played in changing the hazardous waste rules for academic labs (C&EN, May 29, page 6). In 1980, ACS established the Task Force on RCRA (Resource Conservation & Recovery Act). It is now called the Task Force on Laboratory Environmental Health & Safety in recognition that the new hazardous waste regulations oriented to industrial operations would have an impact on laboratories and that chemists and other laboratory workers needed guidance on how to operate within these parameters

Over the years, the task force has been active in presenting programs to our membership as well as developing books and brochures ("Less Is Better" and "RCRA and Laboratories" are probably the best known of these). The task force also worked closely with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration to promote the unique status of laboratory chemistry and its professionals.

The reality that laboratories contribute only a minuscule quantity to the hazardous waste stream limited the resources that regulatory agencies were able to contribute to addressing these issues and thus to the 25 years that it has taken to make these substantial changes. I am disappointed that these new rules apply only to the academic sector rather than the larger laboratory community. But it is a welcome first step.

Stanley Pine
South Pasadena, Calif.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment