Managers of lab space who are planning to retire or leave the university must arrange to clean out their laboratory space, including removing all hazardous materials.

Shared storage spaces such as refrigerators, freezers, cold rooms, incubators, stock rooms, and waste collection areas must be cleaned out.

No biological, chemical, or radiological material should be left in the laboratory or in a shared space.

Faculty members who are planning to be absent from campus for periods of 90 days or longer must ensure that their hazardous materials are in proper long-term storage or that they have arranged for adequate supervision of their laboratory in their absence.

Removing Hazardous Materials


Chemicals that are in good condition can be transferred to other laboratories. To ensure regulatory compliance, contact DRS if moving large amounts of chemicals between campus buildings. 

Gas Cylinders

All gas cylinders must be returned to the vendor. If the cylinder was purchased, contact DRS for disposal.

Select Agents

DRS must be notified prior to any transfer or disposal of Select Agents. Select Agents are defined in Sections 73.4 and 73.5 of 42 CFR Part 73 (list here). 

Controlled Substances

Controlled substance permits from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are issued to individual researchers. Abandoning a controlled substance is a violation of the DEA permit under which it was held. The DEA must give permission to transfer ownership of a controlled substance.

Expired or unwanted controlled substances must be destroyed with authorization from DEA. Contact DRS after receiving permission.

If controlled substances for which the licensee is unknown are found, contact DRS.

DRS has a guide to controlled substances.


High powered laser systems (Class 3B or Class 4) must be transferred to another PI, transferred to another institution, or rendered inoperable. Contact DRS with the status of all such devices.

Radioactive Materials and Radiation Sources

Samples and stock vials must be transferred to another permit holder or prepared for disposal. Follow the instructions in the campus Radiation Safety Manual.

Any equipment potentially contaminated with radioisotopes should be surveyed by DRS.

Remove or deface all radiation warning labels where radioactive material has been removed. Once all radioactive material has been removed, contact DRS for a final survey.

Some laboratory items may contain radoactive materials within the equipment or instrumentation. For more information on this type of equipment and how to evaluate it before disposal see Equipment Containing Radioactive Materials.  

X-Ray Machines and Accelerators

X-ray machines and accelerators must be transferred to another PI, transferred to another institution or rendered inoperable. Contact DRS with the status of all such devices.


Dispose of all unwanted hazardous material and waste through DRS.

If laboratory equipment is to be discarded, capacitors, transformers, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, radioactive sources, and chemicals must be removed before disposal. Contact DRS for assistance.


Shipment of hazardous materials to another university or off-site requires compliance with the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, which require specific packaging materials, labeling, and training of the person packaging the material. An individual who violates these regulations may face civil or criminal penalties. Please contact DRS for information about shipping and verify with your unit office that you are allowed to transfer the materials.

Cleaning Procedures

After removing all hazardous material, use appropriate cleaning supplies to decontaminate all work surfaces, fume hoods, equipment, bench tops, sinks, and other surfaces. Defrost and clean refrigerators and freezers. The laboratory must be cleaned for the next occupancy, and no residues must remain. 

Inform DRS if exhaust or filtration equipment has been used with extremely hazardous substances or organisms and could be contaminated.

If radioactive material was present, contact DRS to request a final survey of the space.

Last Updated: 5/15/2018