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What kind of pollution does the laboratory usually produce, and we need to pay attention to it?

May 13, 2019

Everyone is equal in the face of environmental protection, and must be implemented in accordance with the principle of “who pollutes the environment and who is responsible for handling it”. The cost accounting and external charges of the laboratory should include the environmental protection costs of the laboratory.

The types of pollution sources in the laboratory are complex, with many varieties and high toxicity. The treatment plan should be formulated according to the specific conditions.

Laboratory environmental pollution types and hazards

1.1 According to the nature of pollution

1.1.1 Chemical pollution

Chemical pollution includes organic pollution and inorganic pollution. Organic pollution is mainly caused by organic reagent contamination and organic sample contamination. In most cases, the organic reagents in the laboratory are not directly involved in the reaction, but only act as a solvent, so the organic reagents consumed are discharged into the surrounding environment in various forms, and the total amount of emissions is roughly equivalent to the consumption of the reagents. the amount. Day after day, year after year, emissions are considerable. Organic sample contamination includes some highly toxic organic samples such as pesticides, benzo(α)pyrene, aflatoxin, and nitrosamines. Inorganic pollution is caused by strong acid, strong alkali pollution, heavy metal pollution, and cyanide pollution. Among them, heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and chromium are not only highly toxic, but also have accumulation in the human body.


1.1.2 Biological pollution

Biological pollution includes biological waste pollution and biological bacterial toxin contamination. Biological waste includes specimens from laboratory laboratories such as blood, urine, feces, sputum and vomit; laboratory supplies such as laboratory equipment, bacterial culture media and bacterial positive specimens. The laboratory for carrying out biological experiments will produce a large amount of high-concentration culture medium and medium containing harmful microorganisms, and if directly discharged without proper sterilization, serious consequences will result. Inappropriate design of ventilation equipment in biological laboratories or personal safety protection loopholes in the experimental process will spread the spread of biological bacterial toxins, bring pollution, and even bring serious adverse consequences. After the SARS epidemic in 2003, many biological laboratories strengthened the study of SAS virus. Later, the SARS-infected people reported were mostly infected by researchers during laboratory research.

1.1.3 Radioactive contaminants

Radioactive material wastes include radioactive labels, radioactive standard solutions, and the like.

1.2 According to the form of pollutants

1.2.1 Waste water

Laboratory-generated wastewater includes excess samples, standard curves and sample analysis residues, spent reservoirs and washes, and large amounts of wash water. Almost all conventional analytical projects have varying degrees of wastewater contamination problems. These wastewaters are all-inclusive, including the most common organics, heavy metal ions and harmful microorganisms, and relatively rare cyanides, bacterial toxins, various pesticide residues, and drug residues.

1.2.2 Exhaust gas

Exhaust gases produced by the laboratory include volatiles of reagents and samples, intermediates in the analysis process, leaking and venting standard gases and carrier gases. Usually, experiments in the laboratory that directly produce toxic and harmful gases are required to be carried out in a fume hood. This is an effective way to ensure indoor air quality and protect the health and safety of analysts, but it also directly pollutes the ambient air. Laboratory waste gas includes common pollutants such as acid mist, formaldehyde, benzene series, various organic solvents, and less frequently encountered pollutants such as mercury vapor and phosgene.

1.2.3 Solid waste

Solid waste generated by the laboratory includes excess samples, analytical products, consumable or damaged laboratory supplies (such as glassware, gauze), residual or spent chemical reagents, and the like. These solid wastes are complex in composition and cover a wide range of chemical and biological contaminants, especially many chemical reagents that have expired. The treatment is slightly inadvertent and can easily lead to serious pollution accidents.