General Procedures for Closing Laboratories


  • Develop an inventory of remaining chemical substances. Dispose of all unwanted chemicals through the Department of Environmental Health and Safety’s (EH&S) Chemical Waste program at or (412) 624-9505. Prior to transferring any usable chemicals to internal colleagues, forward the comprehensive chemical inventory to EH&S for review. Highly toxic materials, peroxide forming chemicals, and chemicals which are on the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemicals of Interest list (pdf) should not be transferred.
  • EH&S must be contacted for the disposal of chemicals before separating from the University. Once the faculty member has separated from the University, the respective department will be charged for chemical disposal costs.
  • An online request for moving or relocating laboratory equipment must be submitted to Surplus Property. Prior to relocation, equipment scheduled for delivery to Surplus Property or another laboratory must be cleaned and disinfected according to protocols listed in the EH&S Safety Manual.
  • Countertops, chemical fume hoods, and any other potentially contaminated surfaces in the vacated laboratory must be cleaned. All waste must be properly discarded. EH&S can provide further details about the required procedures.
  • Biological safety cabinets must be decontaminated by a qualified vendor prior to being moved. Laboratory personnel are NOT permitted to perform or certify the decontamination of a biological safety cabinet (BSC) that is being moved. A qualified vendor must be contacted to conduct and document the decontamination process of the BSC prior to moving the BSC or closing the lab. Vendor documentation of decontamination will be requested by Surplus Property or other moving personnel prior to moving the BSC.
  • A formal decommissioning plan must be developed with EH&S prior to vacating a BSL-3 laboratory.
  • Remove regulators from all compressed gas cylinders, replace the protective cap, and ensure proper labeling of each cylinder. Contact the gas distributor to have the gas cylinders removed.