Pollution Prevention and Environmental Sustainability


Pollution Prevention and Environmental Sustainability

Pollution prevention is an important part of Laboratory Safety at UVM.  

Take time to:

  • reduce or eliminate waste by modifying laboratory procedures when possible,
  • research and use non-toxic or less-toxic substances,
  • implement conservation techniques, and
  • re-use materials as much as possible before putting them into the waste stream. 


Maintain An Accurate Chemical Inventory

Keep the online chemical inventory for the lab up to date.

1) In the lab, track location, chemical name(s), amounts, and arrival date.

2) Inventory lab chemicals, at a minimum, bi-annually.

3) Purchase chemicals in the smallest quantities needed to minimize the waste chemicals you will generate in the future. Ultimately, the true cost of a chemical includes both the purchase price plus the cost of proper disposal.

4) Consider obtaining needed chemicals from another laboratory that may not need them or has them in excess.

5) Ask chemical supplier to provide you with an Material Safety Data Sheet for every chemical you purchase. Maintained MSDS in the laboratory safety notebook or in a digital file on a lab computer.

Store Chemicals Safely

1)  Keep chemicals in proper storage areas, based on their hazard, unless they are in use.

2)  Store chemicals at or below eye level.

3)  Do not store chemicals alphabetically; store them by chemical group or hazard (flammable, corrosive, toxic, reactive) to keep incompatible chemicals away from each other.

4) Store hazardous liquids in secondary containment.


For more information about how to store chemicals safely, see Label and Store Chemicals.