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 (PPE) 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 cannot 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 or unwanted chemicals, controlled substances, and 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, 30 days prior notice must be given to Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). Following notice, EH&S staff will be available to review the the Laboratory Cleanout Checklist, 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 https://risk.uni.edu


Faculty members are encouraged to adhere to the guidelines listed in Laboratory Cleanout Checklist. All chemicals, controlled substances, biological and radiological materials should be inventoried including all such materials located in storage cabinets, hazardous material refrigerators, hoods and hood cabinets, stockrooms and cold rooms. 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. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) 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 EH&S. Transfer of hazardous materials outside the university is strictly prohibited. Transfer of radiological material and controlled substances to other laboratories or to other faculty members is strictly prohibited. All laboratory areas should 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 be 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 https://obo.uni.edu/fixed-assets.

After cleaning and decontaminating the area, the faculty member in charge of the laboratory and the department head will sign and date the Laboratory Cleanout Checklist. A request must then be made to the University Officer or designee to inspect the area to ensure that it has been properly cleaned, decontaminated and the guidelines recommended by the EH&S office have been followed.


Environmental Health & Safety Office, approved  August 6, 2015
President’s Cabinet, approved December 7, 2015
President and Executive Management Team, approved December 14, 2015
[Last reviewed and/or updated: 10/2023, 1/2018, 12/2015]