DTL Laboratory Policies and Practices
When participating in laboratory sessions at the Division of Teaching Labs there are several policies and best practices that must be followed. Here at the University of Toronto and the Division of Teaching Labs we constantly strive to provide the safest environment possible. To this end we ask that each student read and agree to the following polices and practices.
  • Absolutly No food or Beverages may be consumed in any lab area including Interlabs. All food and beverages must be consumed outside of the Lab/Interlab areas.
  • All students must wear a lab coat to participate in any wet lab session. A limited number of lab coats are available to borrow in the Interlab.
  • No open toes shoes permitted in the lab.
  • To prevent from ingesting any chemicals never pipette by mouth, only use pipette aids provided. When using a pipetting aid, you must be extremely careful to not draw any liquid into the pipette aid.
  • Please respect your fellow students and other personnel in the lab. To help reduce the possibility of accidents you should at all times be concentrating on what you are doing, and at no time should you engage in any form of horseplay.
  • Students should not bring chemicals, glassware or equipment into the Interlab except when necessary to use a piece of equipment located there (i.e. Balance or Spectrophotometer etc) or to use the fumehood in the Interlab. If it is necessary to bring such items into the Interlab then the student must also bring it back to his/her lab bench after use.
  • Students should not transfer equipment, glassware or chemicals from one lab to another unless specified and supervised by the instructor. The instructor should inform the Interlab technician of any equipment transfers.
  • Since the Interlab can become crowded with people and equipment, to reduce the possibility of accidents please keep Interlab traffic to a minimum.
Chemical Handling and Disposal
  • During the course of a lab session you may be required to dispense or otherwise handle poisonous, corrosive, or otherwise hazardous or dangerous chemicals or preparations. Please make sure that you use appropriate precautions when handling such chemicals.
  • Dispose chemicals into appropriate containers
    • Liquids
      • Use designated and marked bottles and/or beakers
      • Some liquids can be disposed down the drain, and before doing so check with your TA
    • Solids
      • Use designated and marked beakers (if your lab experiment requires it)
      • For Non-Contaminated tips/consumables: use milkshake cups; at end of class dispose in orange 20 L pails
        Please note that Non-contaminated refers to substances that are non-hazardous (e.g. phosphate buffers).
      • IF consumables (tips, microtubes, etc) were used with hazardous material; dispose in green 20 L pails only, unless designated otherwise by your TA.
      • RAZORS/NEEDLES (minus syringe) are disposed of in yellow bio-haz SHARPS COLLECTOR (3.1 L) ONLY!
      • UNSURE/CONFUSED? Always ask your TA.
  • Pasteur pipettes are always disposed of in the orange or green pail (as needed). They are not washed, please do not put them into basins marked dirty pipettes, as this refers to re-usable glass pipettes.

Examples of how it would look in the lab:
tip box
chemical bottle
chemical bottle
tip box
green pale
orange paleyellow container
Microbiology Labs
  • Disinfect your workbench BEFORE and AFTER use with either Dettol or 70% alcohol
  • DISPOSE of biologically contaminated waste into appropriate containers, using the following rules:
    • Contaminated glass pipettes (not pasteur pipettes): use the metal pan containers OR jars filled with bleach (confirm with your TA)
    • Contaminated sharps such as tips/consumables (except for NEEDLES and RAZORS ) are disposed of in marked containers This consists of a receptacle with a bio-haz bag or a metal pail/container)
    • RAZORS and NEEDLES (minus syringe) are always disposed of in    yellow bio-haz SHARPS COLLECTOR (3.1 L).
  • If working with Biological Containment Level 2 micro-organisms, then all waste (plates, sharps, consumables) MUST BE disposed in yellow bio-haz 20 L pails.
  • When using biosafety cabinets, please be sure to:
    1. Disinfect the workspace before and after use
    2. Tidy up
    3. Dispose of any material (tips, pipettes, etc...)
Examples of how it would look in the lab:
image of bio hazardous bag
image of pipette box
metal container
metal bucket
metal bucket
Bio Safety cabinet
Bio Safety cabinet
metal bucket
container of plates
  • Dirty glassware MUST be placed in the appropriately marked DIRTY glassware containers. DO NOT PUT DIRTY GLASWARE BACK IN WITH CLEAN GLASSWARE .
  • Students must respect glassware as potentially hazardous and dangerous items. Glassware must only be handled for its intended purpose only.
  • Equipment taken off shelves or wagons must be returned to their original location at the end of the lab session.
  • Broken and disposable glassware as well as plastic micropipette tips are to be disposed of in the appropriate plastic bucket labeled for such items (orange pail), not in the regular garbage or in the dirty glassware bins. Other small sharp objects (i.e. needles, scalpel blades etc) are to be discarded in the provided yellow bio-haz SHARPS COLLECTOR (3.1 L) only.
  • ALL PASTEUR pipettes are always disposed of (not including the bulb) in the orange or green pail (as needed). They are not re-usable or washed and thus cause a safety hazard to the technicians. Bins marked dirty pipettes refer to glass pipettes that are re-usable and thus washed. If you are unsure of what to do with a used pipette ask your TA.

Examples of how it would look in the lab:
glassware bin
metal bucket
glassware bins
Radioactive Labs
  • When working with radioactive substances wear gloves at ALL TIMES
  • ONLY work over benches that have been covered with white absorbent paper
  • ONLY USE equipment/tools that have been specifically designated for radioactive work, such as MARKED centrifuges, MARKED shakers etc.
  • DISPOSE of radioactive waste into appropriately MARKED containers (see pictures below)
    • Liquids: use celite containers
    • Solids: use the yellow bin
    • Tips/Consumables: place in the provided glove boxes, than seal after and dispose in the yellow bin
    Examples of how it would look in the lab:
radioactive bin
radioactive container
radioactive container
radioactive vials
radioactive vials
radioactive container
  • In many instances waste generated within a laboratory setting can be safely recycled thereby minimizing the environmental impact of your work
  • The following items can be recycled
    • Glassware
    • Plasticware
    • Paper products
    • Electronics (toner, computer equipment, lab equipment)
    • Batteries
  • Before considering recycling any solid waste you must ensure that it is NOT CONTAMINATED with any hazardous material. That is, it is free of any biological, chemical, or radioactive contamination.
  • All products must be triple rinsed before they are placed into the designated recycling bin.
  • UofT provides the following recepticales for recycling.
Blue Totter
Brown Totter
Orange Totter
Battery Totter
Additional Resources and Lab Safety Agreement Form

The following form represents DTL's lab safety policy. Please read the form, sign it, and hand it in to your TA. (Available September.)
Totter for Battery recycling.
Orange Totter for plasticware recycling.
Brown Totter for Amber Glass Bottles recycling.
Blue Totter for paper waste recycling.
20L Yellow Bio Hazard Level 2 waste Pail.
Geiger counter.
Liquid scintillation Beta counter.
Container for used radioactive pipette tips.
Tray of scintillation vials.
Radioactive solids waste container.
Radioactive liquid waste containers.
Dirty glassware bins on a wagon at end of centre tables.
Never place used pasteur pipettes in with dirty glassware, they are to be disposed of in the broken glassware pail. Please do not dispose with rubber bulbs, they are resuable.
Dirty glassware bin.
Fresh supplied stock plates
Biosafety cabinet
Biosafety cabinet
Metal bucket for contaminated glassware and plastics
Jar with Detol for contaminated pasteur pipettes and slides.
Bag for contaminated lab consumables and sharpes
Plastic pan for contaminated glass pipettes
Metal pan for contaminated glass pipettes
Sharpe's container
Decontaminated Tips and Broken Glassware
Chemical Contaminated Tips and Broken Glassware
Plastic Tips Container
Unmarked Chemical Waste Bottle
Marked Chemical Waste Bottle
Used Micropipett Tips Container
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