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How to Get a Decontamination Clearance for Equipment or Facilities

Follow the steps below to get a decontamination clearance for equipment and facilities.

Equipment that may have come in contact with radioactive, biohazardous, or chemical materials must be decontaminated before you have it serviced, repaired, moved, sent to Surplus Sales, or otherwise disposed of. In addition, lab facilities must be inspected before undergoing service, repairs, or remodeling.

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Radioactive materials

Decontamination

Decontaminate equipment that was in contact with radioactive material or has a radioactive material label.

  • Clean the item so it's free of all unassociated material (e.g., labware and chemicals found in refrigerators, freezers, fume hoods, etc.).
  • Survey the item using a radiation survey meter and wipes.

Request Decontamination Clearance

When the item has been decontaminated to background radiation level, request decontamination clearance.

Items are considered free of radioactive material when an EH&S specialist:

  • Removes Radioactive Material labels
  • Attaches a Clearance label to the item

Biohazardous materials

Decontamination

Decontaminate equipment that was in contact with biohazardous material, has a biohazard label, or has been used in a BSL-2 or BSL-3 lab.

Biological safety cabinet (BSC)

If the BSC is not being moved and repair work will not open the contaminated inner space, a surface decontamination with an appropriate disinfectant and contact time is sufficient.

Moving a biosafety cabinet (biosafety level 2 or greater):

  • Have the BSC gas-decontaminated by an approved vendor before the move.
  • Have the BSC recertified after it has been installed in a new location.

Other equipment

Request Decontamination Clearance

Items are considered free of biohazardous material and additional requirements and controls when an EH&S specialist:

  • Verifies the item has been disinfected
  • Removes the Biohazard symbol and labels
  • Attaches a Clearance label to the item

Hazardous chemicals

Decontamination

Decontaminate equipment that was in contact with hazardous chemical material.

  • Wash or wipe away any visible chemical contamination.
  • If perchloric acid has been used in the chemical fume hood, notify the Chemical Safety Officer, (858) 822-1579.

Request Decontamination Clearance

Items are considered free of chemical hazards when an EH&S specialist attaches a green clearance label to the item.

Service, repair, or remodeling

Red clearance card

Request Decontamination Clearance

Request a clearance survey by EH&S before service, repair, or remodeling begins in research facilities.

Red tag

EH&S posts a red tag when researchers vacate a lab, to indicate decontamination and clearance procedures have begun in the facility. A red tag will still allow custodians to enter and empty regular trash.

Green clearance card

Green tag

EH&S posts a green clearance tag after hazards are removed, indicating the facility is safe for contractors and other non-laboratory service personnel to enter and begin work.

Instructions for Non-lab personnel

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Notice: Disposal of hazardous waste using sinks, intentional evaporation, or as regular trash is against the law. Campus laboratories must abide by strict state and federal waste disposal requirements. You may be held liable for violations of applicable laws.