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Policies and Procedures

11.04 Laboratory Cleanout Prior to Reassignment, Renovation or Demolition

To ensure hazardous and/or radioactive materials are properly removed from laboratories and research areas prior to reassignment, demolition, or renovation of the area.

It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa that all hazardous and radioactive materials will be properly removed from laboratories and research areas prior to reassignment, demolition, or renovation of the area. It is the responsibility of the department head to ensure personnel are trained in the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment that will be used during the cleanup of the designated areas. It is the responsibility of faculty members who are assigned to the areas in question to ensure proper cleanout procedures are followed prior to reassignment, renovation or demolition. If the faculty member can not participate in the cleanout, it is the responsibility of the department head to ensure the proper procedures are followed. This policy ensures the removal of unknown, unlabeled, or unwanted chemical, biological or radiological waste in the laboratory.

Faculty members who are assigned to a laboratory are directly responsible for proper use and disposal of hazardous materials in their assigned areas. If demolition or major renovation of the assigned laboratory is to occur or if the faculty member in charge of the space is retiring, transferring to another laboratory on campus or is otherwise leaving the campus, at least thirty days prior notice must be given to the University Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Office (telephone number 273-7269). Following notice, the University EH&S staff will be available to review the Laboratory Cleanout Procedure, provide information on hazardous or radioactive materials, and provide proper disposal procedures of hazardous and nonhazardous materials. In addition, see the EH&S Website at

Faculty members shall adhere to the guidelines listed in “Laboratory Cleanout Checklist” ( All chemicals, biological and radiological materials should be inventoried including all such materials located in storage cabinets, hazardous material refrigerators, hoods and hood cabinets, stockrooms and coldrooms. Hazardous or radioactive materials shall be removed from the laboratory area; EH&S staff will assist. Ensure labels are easily readable and in good condition, and the container is properly closed and sealed. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) should be obtained for all chemicals deemed as hazardous waste. An inventory of chemicals being transferred to other areas within the department or the university and location to where they are being transferred should be submitted to the EH&S Office. Transfer of radiological material to other laboratories or to other faculty members is strictly prohibited. All laboratory areas shall be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated, including bench tops, fume hoods, storage shelves, refrigerators, walk-in hoods and cold rooms, floors and shelves.

Equipment containing hazardous material such as mercury switches, mercury thermometers, oil, asbestos, or radioactive sources must have the hazardous material removed prior to disposal. Contact EH&S for assistance. For equipment that does not contain hazardous materials and will not be used by the department, contact the Office of Business Operations for assistance in disposal of equipment. See

After cleaning and decontaminating the area, the faculty member in charge of the laboratory and the department head will sign and date the checklist. A request must then be made to the University Safety Manager to inspect the area to ensure that it has been properly cleaned, decontaminated and the EH&S guidelines required under this policy have been followed.

University Environmental Health and Safety Office, approved 4/08
President’s Cabinet, approved 7/08/08