The disposal method depends on the chemical composition of the biotoxin. Most proteinaceous biotoxins, such as staphylococcus enterotoxin, ricin, and cholera toxin, can be effectively inactivated by exposure to 10% bleach for at least one hour or by autoclaving at 121°C and 15 psi for one hour. See Autoclave –waste and validation for autoclaving procedure.
Inactivating non-proteinaceous biotoxins is less straightforward. Examples of non-proteinaceous biotoxins are T-2 toxin, conotoxins, and tetrodotoxin. There is conflicting evidence as to which methods are most effective. The following instructions have been developed to ensure that the manner of disposal of all the non-proteinaceous biotoxin wastes is consistent and safe for all personnel involved.
Waste containing non-proteinaceous biotoxins
This waste is picked up as chemical waste by the Division of Research Safety. Follow these instructions:
- Do not add bleach or any other chemical to deactivate.
- If liquid, collect waste in glass or plastic containers with screw caps. If solid, place the items directly in a puncture-resistant bag no larger than 10 gal in size (small trash can size) and keep the weight below 20 lbs.
- The bag must be labeled with the contents, e.g., aflatoxin-contaminated debris, tetrodotoxin <100mg.
- Do not use biohazard bags or anything marked with a biohazard symbol. You will be required to repackage the waste if there are visible or covered biohazard symbols.
- When full, seal the bag and confirm that the label on the bag is accurate.
- Request a chemical waste pickup. Indicate the maximum amount of toxin present in the waste on the form (e.g., tetrodotoxin <100mg) to allow verification that quantities do not qualify for regulation as select agents.