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Pollution Prevention in the Educational Laboratory
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During Calendar Year 1999, Argonne National Laboratory, a federal research
facility, and the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC), a
state agency, jointly conducted a Pilot Project entitled "Chemical Waste
Minimization in the Educational Laboratory." Four Chicago area secondary
schools volunteered to participate.
The purpose of this Project was to promote the integration of waste
minimization and pollution prevention (WM&P2) strategies within secondary
schools by presenting microscale chemistry lectures and demonstrations to
high school chemistry teachers and by performing chemical vulnerability
assessments within the school's chemistry laboratories. Participating
schools received technical guidance involving the use, management, storage,
and disposal of chemicals generated from the school's educational
laboratories. The implementation of these activities helped address issues
and concerns at the four participating schools.
The goal of this Project was to demonstrate the importance of integrating
WM&P2 techniques and assessment strategies into the functions of the
educational laboratory. Through the implementation of this project the
participating school's have realized many of the following benefits:
* A reduction in high school chemical waste generation;
* Minimization of health risks to students and teachers in school
* Safer educational laboratories for both students and teachers;
* Continuance of schools' hands-on laboratory experiences for students
- a practice that has been threatened by the increasing cost and
difficulty of waste disposal; and
* Student's increased knowledge of WM&P2 techniques that they will
practice throughout their lives.
Argonne's Division of Educational Programs (DEP) provided demonstrations and
training on microscale chemistry techniques, provided equipment kits,
instructional materials, other supplies needed. The WMRC performed chemical
vulnerability assessments within the participating school's chemistry
laboratories and provided technical assistance base on the findings of the
Although funding was not provided for chemical waste disposal, this Project
was found to provide the schools with the tools (assessments and
recommendations) needed to convince their school's administration that it is
a priority to routinely address existing chemical material/waste concerns
and issues (i.e., disposal).
Future implementation of this Project is dependent upon the availability of
funding opportunities locally, regionally, and nationally for the Chemical
Waste Minimization in the Educational Laboratory Project activities. The
project team is committed to bringing more schools in the Chicagoland area
into this Project. The team estimates that the cost for implementing the
Chemical Waste Minimization in the Educational Laboratory Project within a
typical Chicagoland secondary school to be approximately $1,500 to $2,500.
To view the Final Report go to: http://WWW.ANL.GOV/P2/library.htm , go to
1999/2000 Chemical Waste Minimization in the Educational Laboratory and
click on Main Report.
For more information on how to implement the Chemical Waste Minimization in
the Educational Laboratory Project within a secondary school of your choice,
contact one of the following project team members:
Keith Trychta Argonne National Laboratory
Deon Ettinger Argonne National Laboratory
Malcolm Boyle Illinois Waste Management & Research Center