FAQ - EHS

FAQS

FAQ - EHS

We have tried to address many common questions below but if you do not find the answer to your question or need additional assistance, please contact one of the EHS staff:

Kelley Hixson khixson@uccs.edu

Ron Honn rhonn@uccs.edu

Cindy Norton cnorton@uccs.edu

Fire Safety

  • You need to contact Kris Parsons at kparson3@uccs.edu

     

     

  • Please contact Kris Parsons at kparson3@uccs.edu

General Hazardous Materials and Waste Management

  • Proper disposal of paint is dependent upon the type of paint: 

    The preferred method for managing latex paint is to simply use it up.  Paint something. You can submit it to EHS for management; however, if at all possible it should be in it's original container with it's original label

    If you have oil based paint, please submit it to EHS for proper dispoal.

    If you have aerosol paint, please submit it to EHS for proper disposal.  If the container is completely empty (no contents remain), it can go into the trash.  If however, there are any contents remaining in the container (i.e. the tip broke off), then it must be managed as hazardous waste by EHS.

    If you have empty paint containers (cans, bottles, tubes) as long as all the contents have been removed by normal means and there is no free liquid present, they can be disposed of in the trash.

    If you have any questions or doubts about how to manage paint, please contact Cindy Norton x3212 cnorton@uccs.edu.

  • Disposal of gas cylinders is extremely expensive! Please only order what you absolutely cannot do without. Order your gases in "rental" cylinders that can be returned vs. lecture bottles that need to be disposed of. Be aware that your department may be responsible for the cost of cylinder disposal. The EHS hazardous waste facility is not permitted to store such vessels. Cylinders should be stored in a manner that limits access to unauthorized personnel and prevents them from falling. If you have cylinders to dispose of please contact the EHS for assistance at 255-3212 or cnorton@uccs.edu

  • Deposit batteries in the various battery collection containers located around campus. Please see the  Office of Sustainability for a listing of public battery collection sites on campus. Any/all small sealed battery types are accepted in the collection containers including: alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries, lithium cells, nickel-cadmium, sealed lead acid, button-cell, cell-phone batteries, laptop batteries, etc. For large and/or unsealed battery types, use the HMW tag for disposal. Do you want to help even further? -Please apply tape to all battery terminals or place each battery separately into a plastic baggie to prevent short circuits while in transit to the recycling facility. The University recycles all battery types.

  • When disposing of equipment via University Property Services and/or Facilities Management, the generator/client is responsible for cleanup or removal of any potential hazardous contamination. EHS can provide guidance and recommendations on these procedures as needed by the client. For any questions regarding decontamination procedures for chemical hazards please call 255-3212.

    Each piece of equipment which was used in conjunction with hazardous materials will require a declaration of decontamination.

  • Unknown or unlabeled hazardous materials create safety problems for laboratory, maintenance, and emergency personnel. The storage of unknown or unlabeled wastes is prohibited. EHS will assist in the identification and classification of unknown chemicals to assure proper management and disposal. Fill out a waste tag with as much info as possible, for instance "unknown clear liquid, pH = 4, unknown yellow powder" etc. and submit to EHS. Where an unknown material requires substantial analysis, costs incurred may be the responsibility of the generating department.

  • If you "inherit" a lab that has unknown materials in it, please contact EHS immediately. In most cases these materials can be identified and removed so they no longer represent a safety concern. Ignoring unknowns not only increases your safety risk but also reduces the chance of contacting a previous occupant, thereby making identification of the material that much harder.

  • If containers cannot be reused to store and dispose of waste, follow the instructions below. These instructions are valid for all empty container types: glass, plastic or metal.

    If contaminated with radioactive material:
    STOP and contact Health Physics/Radiation Safety at 303-492-6523 or hpl@colorado.edu.

    If contaminated with biologically infectious material:
    Render noninfectious by autoclaving or chemical disinfection. Contact EHS at 255-3212 with any questions.

    If contaminated with acutely hazardous EPA "P-Listed" Waste:

    EPA "P-Listed" Waste, list viewable here

    • remove cap
    • remove label or obliterate and mark "Empty"
    • triple-rinse empty bottles with the appropriate solvent - the accumulated rinse must be collected and marked as hazardous waste.
    • Place glass directly in a dumpster or in a custodian-safe glass receptacle.
    • Do Not Place Glass In Trash Cans.

    If contaminated with chemical residues OTHER THAN acutely hazardous EPA "P-Listed" Waste.

    • Remove cap
    • Remove label or obliterate and mark "Empty"
    • Place glass directly in a dumpster or in a custodian-safe glass receptacle.
    • Place plastic/metal in a dumpster or trash receptacle
    • DO NOT PLACE IN THE RECYCLE DUMPSTERS
    • Do Not Place Glass In Trash Cans
    • If Non-Contaminated Glass
  • The green end caps are used to identify lamps of recent manufacture with a reduced amount of Mercury. Lamps that have silver end caps have a higher Mercury content.

  • It is best to have Facilities Management handle spent fluorescent lamps. FM staff have been trained to make the recycling or disposal determination for each type of lamp.

  •  

    Generators are required to provide appropriate spill-prevention measures, such as secondary containment devices, and to segregate stored hazardous material/waste containers by chemical compatibility: oxidizers, flammables and combustibles, acids, bases and reactives. EHS can assist in the selection of secondary containment.

Lab Wastes

  • Biowaste and autoclave bags should be available through your lab managers.

  • Sharps containers must be purchased from a vendor like Fisher Scientific, VWR or Lab Safety Supply. Check with you lab manager.

  • If you are a part of the Chemistry, Biology, BioFrontiers, Engineering Departments, the lab managers should be able to provide them. All other groups, contact EHS at cnorton@uccs.edu.

  • Hazardous material/waste must be stored in non-leaking chemically resistant containers, capped and separated by hazard class. To maximize program and cost efficiency, match container sizes to the volume of hazardous material/waste collected. Leave air space at the top to allow for expansion. Do not overfill containers. Re-use containers that chemicals originally came in for disposal whenever possible as long as they're non-leaking and compatible with the waste. Examples of inappropriate collection containers include milk cartons, juice containers, mason jars, and soft cartons or plastic trash bags for sharps.

  • If you are a part of the Chemistry, Biology, BioFrontiers, Engineering Departments, the lab managers should be able to provide them. All other groups, contact EHS at cnorton@uccs.edu

  • All waste solvent should be disposed of through the UCCS, Hazardous Waste Program.

  • Where generators, in consultation with EHS, are able to certify that generated, outdated or treated materials are indeed non-hazardous. (i.e., nonflammable, nontoxic, non-reactive, does not contain heavy metals or - EPA-listed hazardous waste constituents) and has a pH between 5.5 and 10.5, disposal in the sanitary sewer may be permitted. Please call 255-3212 or e-mail EH&S at cnorton@uccs.edu to review your waste stream and discuss the most effective and responsible means of disposal.

    No wastes should be poured down the drain without prior approval from EHS.

  • If you will be out of town, first check if any of your trained generators will be able to perform the weekly inspection. If you have no trained generators or your trained generators will also be out of town or unable to perform the inspection, contact EHS so we can remove the waste from this area. This SAA then becomes inactive until you notify EHS that you are back and able to perform the inspections. During the inactivation you are declaring that no hazardous waste is present or will be generated.

  • To dispose of your hazardous material/waste, complete the Waste Removal Request and submit it to EHS. EHS will contact you and arrange a pick-up time

Personal Protective Equipment

  • No. Unless you find a marking on the mask itself, or on the box that states "NIOSH certified N95 respirator," the mask is limited to protecting patients from your cough droplets, and protecting you from large droplet splashes, large dusts or your fingers from landing in your mouth or nose. These masks neither fit as well, nor filter as well as N95 respirators. N95s are designed to both fit better and effectively filter out tiny aerosol particles - such tuberculosis, mold or lab animal allergens. Please note that medical N95s also are approved for surgery. The N in N95 means the respirator is Not resistant to oily particles such as mists from machine oils, oil-based spray paint, or pesticide spraying. For these oily aerosol hazards a R95 (Resistant to oil) or a P95 (oil Proof) respirator is needed - often in combination with an organic vapor cartridge.

  • You need to contact Cindy Norton at cnorton@uccs.edu.  She can arrange to do a job assessment and if it is determined that you do need a respirator, she can assist you in the process.

  • It is the responsibility of each department and/or researcher to provide these to their employees and/or volunteers.  EHS can provide recommendations regarding particular styles, materials, etc.

Training

  • Annual training is required by Federal, State, and Local regulations, and University Policy. Hazardous waste generators should contact EHS for training. EHS presents annual classroom training sessions that are open to all generators. The training is also available online

  • If you are a supervisor of other waste generators, then Yes. If not, contact EHS at cnorton@uccs.edu and we can update your information in our database.

  • EHS can provide a variety of training.  Please see our training website for courses which have already been developed.  We can also provide customized courses based on the hazards within your work environment.

Indoor Air Quality

  • For acute conditions like out-of-place odors, call EHS at 255-3212. For all other IAQ complaints, contact Campus Services.

  • Mold spores are everywhere - indoors and out. To grow, they need food, water or moisture and a certain temperature range. Many building materials and building contents are good mold food and molds grow fine in a wide range of temperatures, especially indoor temperatures. So the best way of minimizing indoor mold growth is to exclude water or moisture. The following informational flier provides advice to help you do this: Roof Leaks, Sewage Backflows, Utility Pipe Failures etc. (i.e., water infiltration into buildings).