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Phenol disposal

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Princess, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Princess

    Princess Active Member

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    Hi all,
    Wondering if you can help?
    I have some liquified phenol that I need to dispose of - in my previous job we had a pharmacy instore that would dispose of it for us. The pharmacy I buy from don't dispose of it, the pharmacy I used to use no longer will dispose of it. I've contacted my clinical waste company and they want an initial payment of £135 then another payment for disposal.

    Any suggestions gratefully recieved!!

  2. Psycho

    Psycho Member

    In previous nhs podiatry departments that I have worked in, it was just poured down the sink...very carefully.But , you must follow your local policy on disposal of hazordous materials.
  3. dgroberts

    dgroberts Active Member

    Maybe a daft question (it's not clear) but it is out of date? Hence the reason for disposal.

    If not then you might be able to sell it on to another practice maybe?

    Sink is probably a no-no from a waste handling/legal standpoint. But then, who's gonna notice a few mls down the drain??
  4. Princess

    Princess Active Member

    It is out of date.
    Difficulty is the plumbing is very old where my clinic is and knowing my luck it would cause some damage!!
    Can't find anything on the net and the bottles just say to dispose of as medical waste - but as my clinical waste is incinerated - I think it's a hazard!
  5. Princess

    Princess Active Member

    Anybody else any suggestions?
  6. Nikki

    Nikki Active Member

    To the best of my knowledge Phenol for disposal is classed as hazardous waste. If local pharmacies are not happy to arrange safe disposal it might be a good idea to contact your local university or similar to see if they are able to deal with it.

    I wouldn't recommend it being put down sinks as it is only slightly soluble in water, it would have an impact on water and the environment, not to mention the fumes which would be given off.
  7. Stanley

    Stanley Well-Known Member

    I would just dispose of it in the next nail matrix that needs to be chemically destroyed. :rolleyes:
    What makes you think that the phenol is altered chemically? If you see crystals, then the alcohol has evaporated, and just a little alcohol is required to dissolve it.
    If the phenol can chemically degrade, :confused: then it is no longer phenol. Wait a longer time until it is fully degraded into whatever it is supposed to become and then dispose of this inert substance down the drain. However, I don't think that phenol degrades.
  8. cornmerchant

    cornmerchant Well-Known Member

    With all the CPD we do, with keeping up to date with all the regulations for this that and the other-
    no one really knows the correct answer!

    I dont either by the way, so much for education , education, education..............

    I will stick with common sense then.

  9. betafeet

    betafeet Active Member

    Disposal of Phenol Waste

    Any person involved should be familiar with schedules 3.2, 3.6 and 7.1 of the University hazardous substances policy Control measures (UHSP/15/HS/03). Enhanced good chemical practice MUST be applied when handling and disposing of phenol. For further information refer to http://www.hsu.bham.ac.uk/univ/az.htm and the University’s HAZDAT Hazardous Substances database.

    Phenol is TOXIC

    Risk Phrases
    Toxic in contact with skin and if swallowed
    Causes burns

    Personal protection
    Always wear suitable protective clothing, chemical resistant gloves and face/eye protection when handling Phenol or waste. Ensure that a phenol decontamination kit is available in the laboratory before use.


    a) Unwanted chemical stocks of solid phenol are classified as Hazardous Waste. Contact the Hazardous Waste Coordinator in Stores. These should be labelled as below.

    b) Aqueous solutions or buffer containing phenol may be disposed of in shatter proof bottles using the carrier provided, via Stores as Hazardous Waste and clearly labelled as shown below.

    Labelling of disposal container.
    Name of chemical: Phenol TOXIC H6 and H8 18 02 05
    School: School of Biosciences.
    Lab. no:

    c) Low levels* of solid waste (e.g. gels, contaminated paper towels etc) should be placed into a suitable, leak-tight container and then into a yellow bag and treated as clinical waste for incineration.

    d) NB. Phenol/chloroform mixtures can be treated as halogenated waste solvent and disposed of accordingly.

    In case of accident inform a member of staff. If you feel unwell seek medical advice immediately. Show the label where possible.

    COSHH assessments and Material safety data sheets (MSDS) should be kept in each laboratory.

    * For definition of low levels refer to Hazardous Waste: Guidance on Assessment, Guidance/11/HWGA/05 on the Health and Safety Unit web page. You should also consider if any mixed waste meets the cumulative criteria of CHIP2.

    www.biosciences.bham.ac.uk/safety/Disposal of Phenol Waste 0905.doc

    Hope this helps

  10. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    That's excellent technical advice. Less technical but probably more practical - just speak to your local hospital pharmacy department and ask for guidance/help. They'll probably deal with it for a consideration.

    Bill Liggins
  11. heleneaustin

    heleneaustin Active Member

    I cant understand why your local hospital pharmacy dept cant dispose of it. My hospital here does but then again i buy mine from the pharmacy at the hospital. It's a big no no to pour down the sink, but we used to dispose of it this way along with silver nitrate that used to be bottled before we had the agno3 sticks. It is hazardous to health even when out of date hence no to the sink idea.
  12. Page23

    Page23 Active Member

    Phenol Disposal Query

    {ADMIN NOTE: Threads merged}

    hi all,

    i have a brief, general query regarding phenol disposal:

    in my current place of work, phenol sticks are subsequently placed in to a sharps bin. this bin is then left 'open' indefinitely. the room this bin is stored in is used for nail surgery one session per week but is used everyday for various podiatry clinics. from my time working in this room i quite often notice the phenol fumes and wonder how 'safe' this is (for clinicians/patients) or whether further measures should be taken to reduce unnecessary exposure to this substance?

    thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2009

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