Chemical Waste Management Is Necessary


In order to prevent serious environmental and health damages, the UANL Department of Environmental Management invites laboratory technicians, maintenance staff, industrial workers, and the general public to the ‘Chemical Waste Management’ course, which will be held on June 10, 2016.

Chemical waste is a potential damage to the planet ecosystems and human health.

Paints, solvents, and acids are handled at laboratories, while pollutants such as oil lamps and oil-moistened cotton waste rags are used at maintenance offices. Urban solid waste can be recycled, including aluminum, plastics, and electronic waste. Batteries, when not disposed of properly, can be harmful for groundwater reserves, the environment, and human health.

As an awareness campaign on the matter, the UANL Department of Environmental Management and Operational Safety of the Office of the Vice President for Sustainable Development will conduct the ‘Chemical Waste Management’ course on June 10 at the Graduate Division of the School of Chemistry.

Head of Environmental Management and Operational Safety Evangelina Ramirez Lara explained that the purpose of the course is to guide students and everyone else in handling hazardous urban solid waste and disposing of chemical waste at home and laboratories.

When an ecosystem has been contaminated with chemical waste, she commented, its flora and fauna are also affected. Furthermore, when people dispose of such materials improperly, it may damage their health from allergies or respiratory diseases to cancer.

She said having skills in chemistry is not essential, this is the second time that this course is offered and in the first edition it was well received by teachers, industrial sector, maintenance and administrative departments.

"They will learn about the classification system for chemicals, labeling and storage. As well which substances must always be stored separately from other substances, this is what we call compatibility."

Ramirez mentioned the large variety of chemical substances stored at school laboratories, such as: acids and bases, heavy metals, salts, and solvents.

"At the Department of University Program for Environmental Management we offer in-service training to the staff of Schools, Colleges and University Offices this in order to preserve health of university community and this knowledge then is transmitted throughout society," said the expert.

"We will also talk about chemical substances present at home, this is interesting for housewives that are in constant use of cleaning products they will be taught how to mix fluids."

This course shall take place at the Graduate School of Chemistry, which stands at the intersection of Guerrero and Progreso Avenue. It starts on Friday, 10 June from 9 AM to 6 PM, and has three stages. Space is limited to 50 participants. Enrollment is open.

Registration fee for UANL staff and students 1,200 MXN, general public registration fee 2,000 MXN. Department of Environmental Management and Operational Safety telephone number 83 29 4000 extensions 1454 and 1464.

By: Luis Salazar
Photography: Pablo Cuellar