Unlabeled chemicals present a challenging, dangerous, and potentially very costly disposal problem. Hazardous waste disposal firms require certification of the waste characterization by the generator. If the generator is unable to provide this certification based on process knowledge of the chemicals in the waste, a laboratory analysis is required. Depending upon the hazard class associated with the unknown waste, the cost to sample, analyze, treat and dispose of this waste (after it has been identified) can be very significant. EHS provides periodic identification and removal of unknowns through contract with qualified hazardous waste management and disposal companies. Exercise every precaution to avoid generating unknowns in the laboratory. If you discover unknown chemicals in a laboratory, please contact the University Hazardous Materials Manager (919-962-5509) for assistance and handling information.

Figure 12.4
Unknown chemicals collected during a laboratory clean-out on campus.