Waste bottle crack
Waste Bottle Crack
Friday, June 28, 2019
A glass bottle containing "Halogenated waste" was found cracked on Wednesday in one of the compartments of the fume hood where the chemical waste bottles are usually stored. Even though the cause of the incident it's not clear yet, lab members hypothesize that build-up high-pressure inside the bottle could be the origin of such event. The "Halogenated waste" leaked into a secondary container where a second waste bottle containing perfluorodecalin was also present, the latter got corroded causing both chemical wastes to get mixed. Despite this series of unfortunate events, no major incidents occurred, and no one was injured.
As soon as the spill was noticed, lab members evaluated the risk and decided to treat it by following an Emergency Response Chemical Spill, Fire, Injury SOP. The spill was covered with absorbent Hazmat Pads and the whole tray then transferred to a fume hood. The pads were later stored in new waste containers
Take care of your chemical waste often, and avoid having too many waste bottles that might collide when handling them and cause a similar incident. In order to avoid this happening again in the future, it is important to only put materials that are no longer reacting into a waste bottle that is appropriate for the material. In the event of gas being generated inside a waste bottle, if the bottle is shut completely the gas has nowhere to go.
If gases are still being generated in a waste solution there are two options:
1) Use a vented cap if gas generation is expected to be complete but there may still be a small amount of slow residual gas generation expected.
2) Leave waste containers open to complete temporary venting to prevent dangerous situations, such as the build-up of extreme pressure. Common examples would be extremely hot solutions or rapid gas generation. Piranha or aqua regia are examples of solutions that should be left to cool and vent. If you are temporarily leaving dangerous wastes to vent post a SOC indicating the venting in progress and when it should be safe to close with a vented cap. This temporary exemption to closed waste container requirements is allowed under 40 CFR 262.15(a)(4)
Waste containers need to be in good condition and compatible with the contents. Even plastic containers can become brittle over time. Chlorinated solvents, will react with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers, especially thin-walled containers. Use fluorinated HDPE for these solvents.
Selecting collection containers
University of Northwestern Vented Caps video
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