Last updated: September 1, 2023
Laboratory Deactivation and Move Guidelines
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance related to the proper deactivation and move-out of Stanford University laboratories. It applies to all teaching and research space permitted to use hazardous materials or equipment and is a tool that Principle Investigators (PIs), Departments, Project Managers and EH&S can utilize to ensure minimal disruption of research and compliance with University Health & Safety policy during laboratory transitions.
Laboratory deactivation, also referred to as decommissioning, is the process whereby all hazardous materials, wastes and contamination are removed from a lab space that is being vacated. Many activities associated with lab moves require a long lead-time and planning is critical to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Not all aspects of preparing a new lab space for move-in are addressed under these guidelines but can significantly impact move schedules so Departments, Construction Project Managers and PIs are encouraged to work together to ensure a new lab space is compliant and ready for occupancy.
For large moves, EH&S recommends that the PI or Department schedule an advisory inspection with the EH&S Laboratory Safety Program at least 60 days in advance of the move. The Laboratory Safety Specialist assigned to the lab can offer advice on deactivation requirements and alert other EH&S programs that provide services referenced in these guidelines.
If lab space is being returned to the Dean’s reserve, full deactivation with supporting documentation is required. If lab space is being exchanged within a Department’s purview of space and the space will not be renovated, the Department bears responsibility for assuring that those leaving the space satisfy all deactivation requirements. If a PI abandons a lab and cannot be contacted or otherwise held accountable, the Department assumes responsibility for assuring all deactivation tasks assigned or required of the PI are completed by other means.
Hazardous material transfer, disposal and decontamination tasks are generally subdivided into three distinct hazard categories (chemical, biological and radiological) due to the specialized protocols, procedures and regulations that govern each of these material types. Decontamination includes the cleaning or disinfection of working surfaces and equipment such as bench tops, sinks, storage cabinets, drawers, shelving, fumehoods, and any other surface or equipment potentially contaminated with hazardous material. Decontamination does not include inaccessible surfaces or non-portable (fixed) equipment that requires demolition to remediate such as fumehood exhaust or lab vacuum systems. If renovation or demolition is planned for the vacated lab space, the assigned Construction Project Manager will coordinate additional evaluation and decontamination of inaccessible areas or installed equipment with EH&S.
1.2Roles and Responsibilities
Principal Investigator (PI)
The PI is responsible for ensuring the laboratory is fully deactivated in accordance with these guidelines prior to vacating the lab. This includes the removal of chemical, radiological, and biological materials and their residues from work surfaces and equipment in all areas where their research was conducted. The PI may delegate tasks to lab staff and colleagues appropriate to their level of training, knowledge, and ability but is responsible for assuring tasks have been completed accordingly.
A Lab Manager may act as the lab’s point of contact and is responsible for communicating and coordinating deactivation tasks as assigned by the PI or other lab personnel.
The Building Manager is responsible for facility operations and deactivation responsibility may include coordination and mitigation of impacts to other building occupants not involved in the move such as PIs who share research space or equipment. The Building Manager may also coordinate utility shutdowns with facilities craft shops.
The Project Manager or Construction Project Manager is responsible for the overall design and construction of new or renovated lab space (move-in location). Departments and PIs should work closely with the Project Manager as early in the design phase as possible to ensure room configurations and equipment requirements fit the needs of the end users. For large moves, the Project Manager may also assist the Department and PIs with coordination and funding.
For large projects, the Department or PI may need the assistance of one or more Move Coordinators. Move Coordinators include assigned University personnel or an outside consultant that specializes in lab moves.
The PI’s Department is responsible for overall support of deactivation tasks and is typically represented by an administrative staff employee. If a PI vacates a lab and cannot be contacted or otherwise held accountable, the Department assumes responsibility for assuring all deactivation tasks are completed by other means. In no case shall administrative staff be asked or expected to undertake deactivation tasks for which they are not fully qualified by training and experience to perform.
Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
EH&S is responsible for advising Departments, faculty, staff and vendors on lab deactivation requirements that comply with University Health & Safety policy and all applicable standards, laws and regulations. Technical service groups within EH&S provide or coordinate the various specialized services described in these guidelines.
Professional moving companies provide packing materials and transfer non- hazardous equipment and materials to their new location. The University’s Labor Shop also provides non- hazardous equipment and material transfer services.
Hazardous Material Movers
Hazardous Material Movers are vendors who are qualified to transfer hazardous materials and equipment from one location to another in accordance with Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements. With few exceptions, Stanford policy does not allow the transfer of radiological or biological materials by vendors.
Facilities include University Craft and Labor Shops that provide services such as equipment utilities safe-off and non-hazardous material transfer.
2.1Lab Deactivation Planning
Planning is the most important step in a lab deactivation and should start at least 4 to 6 months in advance of the move date. Planning should include the following:
- Plan research activities so that the Lab Work Termination Date (LWTD) minimizes disruption to research and allows enough time to complete all deactivation tasks. All lab procedures and research must stop by the LWTD.
- Discuss and assign responsibilities and duties. Conduct pre-deactivation meetings and workshops so that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
- Establish and communicate timing and schedules. Use checklists to track progress.
- Prioritize equipment moves. Prepare to transfer pieces of equipment most essential for research first.
- Consider designating “room captains” to be on hand to direct and assist the movers.
- If applicable, consider transferring surplus chemicals in good condition to colleagues in nearby labs well before the move date or submittal of a pickup request to EH&S.
2.2Moves Off Campus
Transportation of chemical, radiological or biological agents, including dry ice, are subject to rigorous state and federal shipping requirements for which the person offering the material for shipment, or carrying the material, is personally liable. Failure to comply with these rules can result in substantial civil and criminal penalties for the individual. EH&S provides classes for individuals who ship chemical or biological materials, including dry ice. Radiological materials can only be shipped through the EH&S Health Physics Program.
2.3Schedule and Timing Benchmarks
Schedule and timing of various deactivation tasks are addressed in the Lab Deactivation Procedures Section of these guidelines. However, it is worthwhile to highlight some key benchmarks that may require long lead times or additional university resources.
- Lab Work Termination Date: The Lab Work Termination Date (LWTD) is a deadline for all laboratory research activity to stop and has a major influence on the timing of many deactivation tasks. The Department and PI should meet at least four months in advance to select and agree on research termination dates that are both practical and realistic.
- Chemicals: Large moves may require the removal of significant quantities of chemicals that will not be transferred to the new lab space or reused. Unknown chemicals, if discovered, cannot be removed from the lab until properly identified or classified, which can take time. The EH&S Environmental Protection Program (EPP) is responsible for removing unwanted chemicals from labs and has limited resources. Large-scale lab cleanouts should be scheduled at least 60 days in advance with the EPP.
- Radiological Materials: New lab space must be ready to receive the transfer of radiological materials from the deactivated lab. Inspection and approval from the EH&S Health Physics Program is mandatory and should be scheduled at least 60 days in advance.
- Building Demolition or Reclassification: Vacated lab buildings that used licensed radiological materials and will be demolished or repurposed as non-lab use must undergo a formal closure process as mandated by the State of California Department of Public Health Services, Radiologic Health Branch before the building demolition can begin. This closure process can take up to a year to complete. The Project Manager should consult with the EH&S Health Physics Program for additional information and cost estimate.
- Biological Materials: Any research at the new lab space that utilizes biological agents classified as BSL-2 or above must be approved in advance by the University’s Administrative Panel on Biosafety (APB). Animal-related research must also be pre-approved by the Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care (APLAC). The EH&S Biosafety Program should be contacted at least 60 days in advance to assist with APB or APLAC approvals.
The EH&S Environmental Protection Program should be kept appraised of move schedules and locations to ensure quick emergency response should a spill or other problem arise.
- Provide emergency contact numbers and emergency procedures to vendors responsible for transporting hazardous materials.
- Preplan the move route to minimize use of congested, restricted or sensitive areas and aid the vendor in identifying their location when communicating with emergency response personnel.
- Know where emergency notification and response devices are, including fire alarms, safety showers, eyewash stations, etc.
- Do not move hazardous materials during off-hours to ensure emergency response personnel are available if needed.
- Use freight elevators rather than passenger elevators whenever possible.
3.1Packing and Transportation
In general, PI’s and lab staff are responsible for packing their labs. Movers generally provide all boxes, packing materials, labels, etc., although in some cases, movers may also provide packing services as well. Non-hazardous materials, equipment and furnishings will be transported either by a professional moving company or the University’s Labor Shop. Depending on the size and location of the move, a vendor that specializes in the packaging and transportation of hazardous materials may also be used to move chemicals and lab equipment. Lab personnel can pack and transport personal items themselves if desired.
With few exceptions, vendors at not allowed to handle or transport controlled substances, select agent toxins, radiological or biological materials. Information on the packaging and movement of these types of materials is further addressed in the Lab Deactivation Procedures section.
- All storage guidelines and codes must be followed during the move.
- Keep storage cabinet doors closed and gas cylinders properly secured.
- Provide proper segregation, secondary containment, and storage of hazardous materials throughout the move process.
- Do not use fumehoods for chemical storage.
All miscellaneous items and debris must be removed, recycled or disposed of properly. For larger moves, coordination of these activities with the Building Manager or Department may be necessary. Transfer only essential items that will be used in the new lab and leave nothing other than permanent fixtures and designated furniture (if applicable) in the deactivated lab space.
3.2Universal and E-waste
Universal Waste includes batteries and fluorescent light bulbs, which must be separated from other non-hazardous waste materials and disposed or recycled through EH&S. Access the on-line Non-Research Chemical Waste Pickup Form to request a pickup. Charges may apply so the requestor will need an account number (PTA) to submit this request form. For questions related to Universal Waste disposal, contact EH&S at (650) 723-0654.
E-Waste includes computers, monitors, printers, copiers, phones, microwaves, lab equipment and anything with a printed circuit board. These materials must also be separated from other non-hazardous waste materials and recycled. The Department Property Administrator (DPA) is responsible for submission of pickup requests for these items through the Stanford Property Administration Resource Center (SPARC).
3.3Lab Equipment Disposal or Surplus
All hazardous materials and residues must be removed from lab equipment that will be disposed or resold as surplus property. Do not open (disassemble) internal compartments of equipment for decontamination. If the internal compartments of a piece of equipment are contaminated with chemical, radiological or biological material, label or tag the equipment as potentially hazardous and contact EH&S for further assistance.
Contact Surplus Property Sales as soon as practical to arrange for the sale and transfer of surplus equipment. When the equipment is ready for pick up, prepare a certificate with your department’s letterhead addressed to the Associate Director, Property Management Office stating that you have decontaminated the equipment designated for resale in accordance with these guidelines. Include a serial number or other unique equipment identifier on the certificate.
See additional information on property management requirements on the DoResearch website.
- Equipment must be emptied, drained and cleaned of all chemical or radiological residues and disinfected of any biological materials.
- A certificate of disinfection from the University’s contracted vendor is mandatory for Biosafety Cabinets (BSCs).
- A terminal radiation survey and defacing of radioactive labels by EH&S Health Physics is mandatory for any equipment that was used with radiological materials.
- Prior to disposal, fluids such as refrigerants and pump oils must be drained and recycled by facilities or a vendor. Fluids integral to the equipment’s operation, such as refrigerant, need not be removed if the equipment will be resold as surplus.
- Lab equipment, such as ovens, furnaces, heating mantles, hot pads and mitts may be insulated with asbestos and cannot be resold. Contact the EH&S Asbestos Program at (650) 723-0486 for evaluation and disposal of these items.
- Other potential hazardous components such as mercury thermometers or manometers must be removed prior to disposal or surplus unless the equipment will be resold and the component is integral to its operation.
- Sealed radioactive sources in liquid scintillation counters and other equipment must be removed by the EH&S Health Physics Program prior to disposal or surplus. The Health Physics Program will arrange shipment of the source to the buyer for equipment that will be resold.
- The Department Property Administrator (DPA) must update capital equipment inventory through the on-line Stanford Property Administration Resource Center (SPARC).
3.4Inspections and Documentation
Inspections and documentation help ensure that all lab deactivation tasks have been successfully completed and may serve as evidence during regulatory inspections. In addition, some documentation, such as BSC disinfection certification, is mandatory.
- Lab Deactivation Checklist: EH&S has developed a standard checklist to aid Departments and PIs with deactivation completion inspections. The checklist should be used during a final joint walk-though inspection attended by the Department and PI or PI’s representative after all deactivation tasks have been completed and the lab space is ready for turnover. The Department should maintain the completed checklists and provide copies to EH&S prior to any renovation or demolition of the vacated space.
- Postings and stickers: These are useful ways to identify equipment and lab areas that have been decontaminated. A sticker attached to a piece of portable equipment lets the mover know that it has been cleaned and is ready to go. A posting on equipment that will remain in the lab, such as a fumehood, or a posting on a lab door indicating general cleaning of the area is done, is recommended.
- Certificates: A certificate is a formal posting or document that is required by regulation or policy and can only be provided by vendors or faculty/staff uniquely qualified to provide such certification. Vendors typically issue a standardized certification form. If a PI or PI’s representative provides such certification it must be on Department letterhead with signature and date. See Laboratory Equipment Decontamination Template. Certificates are mandatory for Biosafety Cabinets and lab equipment that will be resold.
4Lab Deactivation Procedures
Removal of Unwanted Chemicals and Hazardous Wastes from Labs
As a first step, users must determine which chemicals are no longer needed in their research and identify chemicals that will be transferred to the new lab. EH&S encourages lab staff to follow the normal surplus chemical donation and chemical waste pickup process for removing a moderate number of unwanted chemicals well in advance of a lab move.
- Develop a reasonable timeline based on the Lab Work Termination Date (LWTD) in order to ensure that all activities can be completed prior to vacating the space. The LWTD should allow enough time prior to the move date to ensure safe packaging and removal of all equipment, chemicals, wastes and miscellaneous items.
- Remove all unwanted research or reaction residues remaining in experimental equipment such as flasks and beakers, and prepare these materials for proper disposal. All wastes must be properly labeled, segregated, and stored per standard procedures prior to removal. DO NOT move chemical waste to another lab.
- Segregate and affix a “surplus” sticker to each container or group of compatible chemicals that qualify as Surplus Chemicals. Surplus Chemicals are defined as reagents in non-leaking original manufacture’s container with intact and readable label. Chemicals must be in usable condition. Banned chemicals such as PCB or DDT cannot be managed as surplus. Additional information can be found at: https://freechemicals.stanford.edu
- Tag waste mixtures as soon as they are generated. Submit pickup requests for tagged mixtures throughout the move planning process. Do not wait until the move is completed. For waste mixtures generated by the lab, lab staff must use the on-line system found at: http://wastetag.stanford.edu
- Contact the chemical waste program 60 days in advance of the LWTD for special handling advice or service if you have non-returnable gas cylinders, unstable chemicals, reaction residues or unknown wastes. If the lab has decided which chemicals are no longer needed, the lab cleanout request can be submitted at the same time.
- Samples may create special difficulties as often they are archival materials and information regarding the composition may be limited. Determining which samples are no longer needed and submitting pickup requests, must be completed 45 days in advance of the LWTD.
- Make unwanted but usable chemicals available to colleagues. This process, dubbed the surplus chemical swap, should be completed prior to submitting the “lab cleanout” request. Lab occupants should keep chemicals secondarily contained and properly segregated during this process, and must not leave them in an unsecured area.
- Once the surplus chemical swap is complete, EH&S will remove the remaining unwanted reagent chemicals and samples. To initiate this process, EH&S has developed the request form found at: http://labcleanout.stanford.edu The request must be submitted to EH&S at least 45 days prior to the LWTD. However, if the lab has decided which chemicals are no longer needed, the request can be submitted earlier. Upon receipt of the request, EH&S will review their workload and staffing, and schedule the cleanout. The cleanout date will be provided to the requestor 7 days after EH&S receives the request.
- One week before the move date, submit pickup requests for any remaining waste mixtures generated in the period preceding the LWTD.
Transporting chemicals within the same building (small scale moves)
For small scale, short distance moves within the same building, the requirements for transporting chemicals is similar to storing them. Containers need to be in good condition and tightly sealed, materials kept in compatible groups according the Stanford Storage Group guidelines, adequate secondary containment provided, and necessary protective equipment such as lab coat, safety glasses, and appropriate gloves used during their handling, packing, and transportation. PPE must be worn in conjunction with appropriate street clothing (long pants or equivalent that completely covers legs and ankles, non-perforated shoes that completely cover feet).
- Lab personnel may move chemicals from within their building if the chemicals are segregated according to storage groups. Sturdy carts with substantial wheels, preferable pneumatic, and adequate secondary containers must be used.
- Use the most recent chemical inventory to identify the hazard class and storage group for each material.
- Print a chemical inventory from the Chemtracker 4 system sorted by Storage Group (Storage Group Report). Contact EH&S if you need assistance.
- Segregate hazardous materials when packing so only compatible materials are packed together. Use only packing materials compatible with the chemicals. Do not pack chemicals in storage groups E and F with paper packing materials. If spilled they can ignite or destroy the paper and/or any cardboard packaging. Pack these chemicals carefully in plastic secondary containment.
- Pack containers to avoid breakage or spillage during transportation. Use boxes with dividers, separate boxes or buckets, and packing materials that surround the chemicals.
- Do not seal the boxes tightly so they can be easily inspected.
- Label each box with the contents and destination.
- Preplan the move route to minimize use of congested and public areas.
- Know where emergency notification and response devices are, including fire alarms, telephones, safety showers, eyewash stations, etc.
- Use freight elevators rather than passenger elevators whenever possible.
Transporting chemicals to a new building (small or large scale moves)
Labs should utilize the services of a certified hazardous material moving company when transporting chemicals between buildings. The vendor will properly segregate, package and transport the chemicals to their new location and have all of the necessary materials and equipment to respond to an emergency if necessary. Hazardous materials contained in experimental equipment such as Erlenmeyer flasks can only be transported by special arrangement.
Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Liquids
DO NOT move gas cylinders or cryogenic liquids. Make arrangements with suppliers to deliver new cylinders to the move-in location and reclaim existing cylinders from the lab space being deactivated. Timing may vary based on research needs.
Controlled Substances and Select Agent Toxins
To ensure proper security and oversight of Controlled Substances and Select Agent Toxins and related records, the PI and his/her authorized researcher will need to move Controlled Substances and Select Agent Toxins and records rather than professional movers. Contact the EH&S’s Controlled Substance Program for support and guidance. EH&S will need to inspect and approve proposed storage locations before the actual move . When approved, the authorized researchers would move the Controlled Substances and Select Agent Toxins following “Transporting chemicals within same building.”
Equipment that is used in conjunction with hazardous material is presumed contaminated unless the users can verify (and certify in writing) otherwise. See Laboratory Equipment Decontamination Template.
- Equipment that will be transported and reused in the new lab should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned by users most familiar with its operation. Cleaning materials and residues should be managed as hazardous waste.
- If lab equipment, such as refrigerators or freezers will be used to transport chemicals, only the exterior surface needs to be cleaned. The mover will add packaging to the interior, if necessary, to prevent breakage. Refrigerators and freezers should be clearly labeled with PACKED WITH CONTENTS if applicable.
- Gloveboxes are typically used to isolate chemicals that react spontaneously with air or water or are otherwise extremely hazardous. The PI and lab personnel must ensure that all materials are properly sealed and removed from a glovebox and that the glovebox is decontaminated prior to removal from the lab.
- Toxic Gas Cabinets: Once toxic gas cylinders have been removed from the cabinets, all plumbing components such as gas lines, regulators, etc., must be purged with an inert gas. A notification with date and sign-off that documents this process must be posted on the face of the cabinet.
Work Surface Decontamination
Good laboratory practice, including appropriate response to spills, dictates that laboratory surfaces and associated equipment is kept in a clean and hazard free condition. When vacating a lab space, thorough cleaning (decontamination) of all chemical use surfaces is mandatory. Surfaces include bench tops, sinks, storage cabinets, drawers, shelving, fumehood surfaces and any other surfaces potentially contaminated with hazardous material. Surfaces and equipment do not include areas or installed (fixed) equipment that requires demolition to access and clean such as fumehood exhaust ducting and lab vacuum system piping.
The most common decontamination method is thorough cleaning with detergent and water, however, the PI and lab personnel must use their working knowledge of the specific materials used in the lab to select the appropriate decontamination method. Examples include highly toxic material such as ethidium bromide, water reactive or unstable compounds and corrosives. For large moves, the Department or PI may elect to hire a vendor that specializes in facility decontamination. These vendors typically provide standardized cleaning certificates for surfaces or equipment included in their scope. A copy of the certificate for equipment decontamination (such as a fumehood) should be posted on the equipment and all originals maintained by the Department. See Laboratory Equipment Decontamination Template.
The new lab space must be ready to receive the transfer of radiological materials and equipment, such as scintillation counters and lasers, from the lab being deactivated. Inspection and approval of the new space by the EH&S Health Physics Program is mandatory and the PI should schedule at least 60 days in advance of the move. Additional requirements related to the use of radiological materials are found in the University’s Radiation Safety Manual.
Removal of Unwanted Radiological Materials and Wastes from Labs
- All radioactive materials and wastes must be properly transferred or disposed. Submit pickup requests at least one week in advance to EH&S on-line at: https://radwaste.stanford.edu
- The Rad Waste inventory form must also be faxed at the same time as the pickup request and the pickup will typically be scheduled within 3-5 working days.
- Identify and properly package all radioactive waste for disposal. Labeling and packaging procedures will not differ from those normally used.
- Radioactive waste boxes with any amount of waste must be to be picked up by the Radioactive Waste Program and the log sheet must indicate that boxes are not be replaced in the lab being vacating. Users should request delivery of new radioactive waste boxes by the Radioactive Waste Program to the new location. Lab personnel can transfer empty, unused waste boxes to the new lab.
- Discard unwanted radioactive materials in appropriate waste containers and log all entries.
- Rooms, facilities and apparatus used by the project must be decontaminated so that, when measured by the Health Physics Program, they meet the standards for uncontrolled areas.
- When terminal radiation surveys have been completed, the Health Physics Program will remove signs from rooms and equipment, take custody of project radiation safety records, and terminate the project, if appropriate.
Transporting Radiological Material
- Radioisotopes must be packed and transported on-campus by designated lab personnel only. With few exceptions, vendors are not allowed to transport radiological materials.
- Pack radiological materials in unbreakable secondary containers with enough absorbent material to absorb twice the amount of liquid in the container. Label with the isotope, activity and date.
- Depending on the circumstance, the Health Physics Program may require additional oversight and safeguards including accompanying the materials during transfer. The Health Physics Program must be consulted prior to the transfer of any radiological materials.
Equipment and Work Surface Decontamination
- Equipment and work surfaces associated with radiological material use must be thoroughly decontaminated and pass a terminal radiation survey prior to the move date. Lab personnel most familiar with the equipment and material use are responsible for decontamination.
- The Health Physics Program, working in conjunction with the manufacturer, will assist with the removal and reinstallation of radiological sealed sources in equipment such as scintillation counters. If applicable, and with the pre-approval of Health Physics, equipment with intact sealed sources can be transferred by trained individuals familiar with the specific equipment and manufacture’s requirements.
- -80 degree freezers should be moved with contents in-place whenever possible as long as ice within the freezer does not melt. Freezers should be labeled with PACKED WITH CONTENTS if applicable. The exterior surface of the freezer must be decontaminated and pass a terminal survey prior to transfer.
- If -80 degree freezers cannot or should not be moved fully packed, the users are responsible for unpacking and transferring contents to dry ice chests.
Terminal Radiation Surveys
- A terminal radiation survey that encompasses all surfaces and equipment designated for radiological material use is mandatory.
- All radiological decontamination work must be completed prior to performance of the terminal survey. The PI and lab staff should use the Lab Work Termination Date (LWTD) to estimate when decontamination tasks will be completed and then schedule a terminal survey with the Health Physics Program.
- Health Physics will return and remove or deface warning signs, stickers and labels upon successful completion of the terminal survey.
Research at the new lab space that will utilize biological agents classified as BSL-2 or above must be approved in advance by the University’s Administrative Panel on Biosafety (APB). Animal-related research must also be pre-approved by the Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care (APLAC).
Laboratories which currently utilize biological materials must notify the EH&S Biosafety Program prior to terminating work to ensure that the laboratory has been decontaminated and that the biological material has been secured or properly disposed. If the PI intends to cease work, he or she must notify the Biosafety Program at least 60 days prior to the set departure/closing date. This will allow the Biosafety Program to consult with the PI and perform a walkthrough of the lab to provide recommendations on the most expeditious way to prepare for the move and the final termination of the biohazardous work in the lab. A final Lab Deactivation Inspection will be scheduled accordingly.
Additional information related to lab deactivation and decontamination can be found in the University’s Biosafety Manual.
Removal of Unwanted Biological Materials and Wastes from Labs
- Account for all specimens stored outside the lab room. Specimens stored in a cold room or an incubator in an adjacent tissue culture room should be autoclaved or disposed of in a red bag.
- Medical waste such as used sharps containers or red bags must be disposed of and the storage areas for the medical waste cleaned with a suitable disinfectant prior to moving day.
- Biological waste will be picked-up according to normal procedures by the University’s contracted vendor, Stericycle.
- Lab personnel should notify EH&S if an unusually large amount of waste, such as discarded samples, will be disposed to schedule a non-routine pick-up. Waste labeling and packaging requirements will not differ from those normally used.
- Lab personnel must remove or deface all biohazard stickers and signs after the lab has been decontaminated.
With the exception of materials stored in -80 degree freezers, biohazardous materials must be packed and transported on-campus by designated lab personnel only. Vendors are not allowed to transport these materials.
Tissue Culture Transfers
Users should transfer cultures to back-up incubators prior to beginning the procedures listed below.
- If applicable, transportation and reconnection of incubators will be done in two stages so cultures can remain in back-up incubators until incubators in the new lab space have been installed and activated.
- Schedules should include detailed timing of disconnecting, draining, and reconnecting incubators. \\
- Users will drain and decontaminate incubators, and prepare them for moving.
- CO2 tanks should be in place in the new lab space and ready for connection to incubators.
- Users will be responsible for refilling incubators with water at the new lab space.
Biosafety Cabinets (BSCs)
Biosafety cabinets must be disinfected and certified by the university’s contracted vendor prior to the move date. The vendor will post a copy of the certification on the BSC once the disinfection in complete. The vendor must also certify any new or reinstalled BSCs at the new lab space prior to use. Users are responsible for removing all materials from BSCs and cleaning the work surface of any chemical residue prior to disinfection by the vendor.
Equipment and Work Surface Decontamination
- Interiors and exteriors of equipment, including laminar flow hoods, and all work surfaces must be properly decontaminated and disinfected by lab personnel. Chemical disinfectants applied to the surface must be allowed enough time to inactivate potential contamination prior to final wipe down.
- Contents of refrigerators and freezers must be transferred to ice chests and transported to the new lab by the users.
- -80 degree freezers should be moved with contents in-place whenever possible as long as ice within the freezer does not melt. Freezers should be labeled with PACKED WITH CONTENTS. If, in the opinion of the lab users or mover, the freezers cannot or should not be moved fully packed, the users are responsible transferring contents to dry ice chests and transporting to the new lab.