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Autoclave Usage

Autoclaving to render waste noninfectious is the preferred method used at the University of Arizona to treat recombinant and most pathogenic waste before disposal.

  • Autoclaved waste shall be disposed of as regular solid waste provided it does not contain any other hazardous material such as radioactive waste.
  • You must either autoclave the waste yourself (see below) or place in double bagged biohazard bags for pickup and disposal by Risk Management Services.

Autoclaving Your Biohazardous Waste

Individuals that autoclave their own biohazardous and/or recombinant waste must follow the Arizona Administrative Code R18-13-1401 and the University of Arizona’s biological waste disposal standards. In accordance with these standards, the following is required:

  • Maintain a logbook for each load that is run in the autoclave including:
    • Duration of cycle
    • Temperature and pressure
    • Individual’s initials
  • Perform and document a monthly biological indicator test
  • Keep records of autoclave maintenance
  • Ensure all biohazardous waste is properly double bagged in red or orange bags prior to autoclaving
  • Transport biohazard bag in a leak proof container to autoclave
  • Autoclave the waste according to your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Attach the Regulated Biological Waste Label to bag
  • Check autoclave tape and document in logbook
  • After autoclaving, place the autoclaved biohazardous waste bag into a black or beige bag and place in appropriate bin.

Biological Indicator Information

A biological indicator test must be performed monthly on any autoclave being used to disinfect recombinant or biohazardous material.

Each Approval Holder is responsible for documenting that the monthly biological indicator has been performed on the autoclave they are using.

If someone outside of the laboratory is performing the biological indicator test (i.e., Building Manager or Department), the results of each test must be made available to all Approval Holders that are using the autoclave so they can document the test’s date, time, and results.

Below are links to biological indicators that Research Laboratory & Safety Services recommends:

VWR - Self Contained Biological Indicators

Fischer Scientific Prospore

Fischer Scientific B/T Sure

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