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Question on interpretation of NFPA 45 - lab waste limits

Question asked by james.darrow on Jan 15, 2020
Latest reply on Jan 17, 2020 by james.darrow

Hello, I have an interpretation question about NFPA 45, particularly about NFPA 45 (2015) section 8.3.4 that discusses waste stored/generated in the lab. [8.3.4 Liquid waste containers stored in laboratory work areas shall not exceed 20 L (5 gal).] The question is whether this refers to maximum waste container size allowed in a single lab (i.e. no larger than a 20 L container capacity, but can have multiple 20L containers in the same lab area, subject to other regulations such as EPA limits, etc.), or whether it refers to maximum total volume of waste allowed to be collected in a single lab between all the lab waste containers. Can you clarify for me what the intent of this standard is?


As a follow-up, NFPA is concerned with flammables (by definition and scope statement) yet in this particular section of NFPA 45 there is no specific mention of "flammable waste" as the category of waste described by the standard that refers to waste. Technically "waste" generated in a working lab can run the gamut from flammable, hazardous liquid waste to non-hazardous, aqueous waste that is collected in a lab container before allowed disposal down a waste treatment system or similar; it even would include solid waste streams like Sharps or biohazard waste, or even regular trash destined for landfill. The standard in question refers to a volume, which implies liquid waste only, but that is not explicit in the standard. Can you clarify this as well?