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Basic Procedure

The following procedure is recommended by the Office of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safety for the decontamination of biohazardous waste.

1. The following materials need to be autoclaved prior to disposal:

  • Culture and stocks of infectious agents
  • Culture dishes and related devices
  • Contaminated solid items such as paper towels, cloth and plastic pipette tips, pipettes and vials, petri dishes and gloves.
  • Discarded live and attenuated vaccines

2. Items should be autoclaved in MSU approved autoclave bags and a rigid secondary container.

Autoclave Bags at
MSU Stores

14"x19" 160101
19"x25" 160105

3. Follow the guidelines set by the posted autoclave parameter signs when setting cycle time.

4. Add one cup of water to each bag of solid waste and keep the bags OPEN--steam can not penetrate closed bags.

5. To prevent spills and accidents, be sure that the exhaust setting is appropriate for the type of material you are autoclaving.
Use FAST exhaust for solid items (solid waste, instruments) and SLOW exhaust for liquids and liquid wastes.

6. After the cycle is completed, let the bag cool for several minuets before removing it from the autoclave.
Securely close orange autoclave bag.

7. Place treated autoclave bags into opaque (non see-through) black bag and close them securely before disposing. To assure that the black bag does not rupture, do not put multiple orange bags in a single black bag.

8. Don't forget to mark your Autoclave Waste Tracking Sheet for each bag of biohazardous waste that you treat.

Conscientious, dependable and skilled operators

Autoclave Procedures Table of Contents


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