EH&S Showing Green
For many years, and often behind the scenes, EH&S has been involved in a variety Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (R3) initiatives. Some of these programs have a regulatory driver, such as silver recovery; others, such as solvent recycling, are driven on the commitment to incorporating R3 initiatives into standard operations. The common denominator is that each has a direct environmental benefit. Visit EH&S's website http://ehs.columbia.edu/Recycling.html to read more about our Reduce, Reuse, Recycling initiatives and, as always, we welcome your suggestions for new projects that benefit the environment.
Chemical Spill Kits Installed at Morningside
New chemical spill kits have been installed throughout the Morningside campus on all laboratory floors. They are designed to handle small quantities of most acids, solvents, and weak caustics, and are sealed by tamper-proof tape to deter pilfering and to indicate if the kit has been opened. These kits are not to be used for mercury , hydro– fluoric acid, or radioactive materials!
These kits should only be used to cleanup a manageable spill-one in which the identity and hazards of the chemicals are known, appropriate personal protective equipment and adequate cleanup
materials are available, and responders possess the knowledge to safely perform the task. Unmanageable spills should not be cleaned up by lab personnel, but rather should be reported to EH&S, and after hours to Public Safety.
If you have used a kit, or if it has been opened for any reason, please report this to EH&S so that the contents can be replenished. To find out more about how to clean up a chemical spill, contact EH&S.
Why Obtain Clearance for Laboratory Equipment?
All laboratory equipment (centrifuges, freezers, refrigerators, glove boxes) must be decontaminated by lab staff to ensure that it is free from biological, chemical or radioactive contamination prior to moving or repairing the equipment, to ensure workers are not put at risk. Upon verifying decontamination, EH&S will complete a Clearance Form and forward it to Facilities if they are called upon to move or dispose of the equipment. Clearance tape will also be placed on the equipment to indicate that it is safe to handle and dispose.
Contact EH&S if you need additional information about proper decontamination and disinfection procedures. University policy mandates clearance be obtained prior to moving any piece of equipment from a lab, regardless of who moves the equipment.