Lab Cleanout


Mission

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Florida Department of Education, is coordinating a school science laboratory cleanout endeavor as part of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s School Chemical Cleanout Campaign, or SC3 Program.

Every year, throughout the country, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on school incidents involving chemicals such as spills and fires. These incidents involve potentially dangerous chemicals which, in some cases, had been unused for more than thirty years. In addition to financial costs, these spills may also cause school closures that result in a loss of valuable education time. SC3 seeks to address this issue by not only cleaning out excess, legacy, unused, and improperly stored chemicals but also by going a step further and implementing preventive mechanisms in schools.

 

Goals

  • Remove excess, unused, deteriorated or out-of-date chemicals from schools.
  • Identify the potentially dangerous chemicals that should not be present or used.
  • Ensure all chemicals are managed properly in school laboratories and storage areas.
  • Encourage removal of all mercury compounds and mercury-containing equipment in order to discontinue the use of mercury.
  • Guide instructors on proper purchasing, handling, storage and disposal of laboratory chemicals in a cost efficient manner.
  • Comply with all local, state and federal requirements.

The ultimate goal of the Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign is to create a chemically safer school environment in which chemicals are purchased wisely, stored safely, handled by trained personnel, used responsibly, and disposed of properly.

Chemicals are used by students, teachers, facility personnel, and administrative staff throughout schools: in science classrooms and laboratories; in art classrooms; in vocational shops such as autobody, auto repair, and printing; and in facility maintenance and operations such as cleaning, painting, and pest control. Thoughtful chemical purchasing and management contributes to a healthy school environment, so consider the possible health, safety and environmental implications before buying a particular chemical. Proper chemical use and management (storage, labeling, and disposal) is critical for reducing chemical exposures and costly accidents which ultimately affect student learning and attendance.

Contact

Planning, Review and Training
1054 Turlington Building 325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Phone: 850-245-0494

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
Hazardous Waste Regulation Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road MS 4560
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400
Phone: 850-245-8707