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DMSO disposal - any protocols out there? (Nov/01/2006 )

I use quite a bit of DMSO in my lab and have been told that I can't just throw away the tips and vials that have DMSO in them. Major pain in the ass but I can understand why.

The problem I have is our Hazardous Chemical Disposal person refuses to help me find out how to dispose of the tips/well plates/vials etc. She is difficult to say the least--I actually had to fight for space in the hazardous chemical closet to store the bag I had! I've been told autoclaving doesn't help with DMSO and I can't find anything online suggesting what to do with it.

Does anyone have a standard protocol in their lab dealing with DMSO disposal? If so, could you send me infomartion so I can start to clean up the mess that threatens to overtake the lab? Thanks so much!!


I would suggest you just call the EH&S department for your university. At least where I work the waste is just bagged and labeled and then we call to schedule a pickup. So there would be nothing other than filling out a label "DMSO plastic waste". The EH&S department can tell you if there are any special precautions for DMSO.

-Zona Pellucida-

DMSO (5-10%) is in the sink (diluted small volumes) or collect where possible. larger volumes, a large container marked "DMSO waste" and tell the management about it.



DMSO should be disposed of as follows:
Dissolve or mix the material with a combustible solvent and burn in a chemical incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.

So, for your purposes, you should contain the DMSO in an appropriate container and label exactly what it is and what volume is contained and then tell your immediate manager that you have an organic solvent that requires disposal via combustion.

That should do it.


Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to have to deal with the terrible stockroom (insert your favorite word). She's the waste disposal person and rather lazy at that. I'll just keep on bagging the waste I get and tell her it can go out with the rest of the solid waste.

Combustion eh? Man I wish we had one of those on campus! Thanks so much!!