Disposing Osmium Tetroxide Contaminated Plastic Containers

The following plastic containers are used routinely for processing hippocampal slice tissue through Reduced Osmium/Potassium Ferrocyanide and 1% Osmium Tetroxide and therefore contain trace amounts of 1% liquid Osmium Tetroxide.

  1. 1 10 ml plastic pipets
  2. (3) 20 ml scintillation vials
  3. 2  polypropylene dishes

I. Small increments (1.5 ml) of 4% Osmium Tetroxide will be pipetted into the 3 scintillation vials and diluted to 1% Osmium Tetroxide

II. 1 % Osmium will be poured from the vials into  2 polypropylene dishes.

III. Tissue basket will be submerged into polypropylene dishes containing 1% Osmium Tetroxide.

IV. There will also be slight Osmium Tetroxide contamination on gloves in manipulating polypropylene dishes in and out of the microwave.

V. There is a possibility 1% Osmium may drip on Versi Dri counter covering. 

Procedure to neutralize Osmium Tetroxide in glass and pasticware:

  1. All 10 ml pipets contacting 4% Osmium will be first rinsed with water and then rinsed with corn oil and placed in zip lock general waste bag.
  2. All 20 ml glass scintillation vials contacting Osmium will be neutralized by pipetting into the vial at least 5 ml of corn oil allowing the corn oil to wash down the sides of the vial and then placed in zip lock general waste bag.
  3. Polypropylene dishes contacting Osmium will be rinsed with corn oil before placing in zip lock general waste bag.
  4. Gloves having contact with Osmium will be dipped in beaker of corn oil and then placed in zip lock general waste bag.
  5. Any area having contact with Osmium will be wiped down with a paper towel dipped in corn oil, and the contaminated paper towel placed in the zip loc general waste bag.
  6. All excess Osmium/corn oil mixtrue will be pour into liquid Osmium waste bottle.
  7. When you consider the bottle full for disposal purposes, place a corn oil dampened paper towel over the open bottle for about 5 minutes.  If the towel turns black, then not all the Osmium has been reduced.  Add more corn oil until the twoel doesn not turn black.

When all Osmium in the bottle has been reduced, notify the Hazard Materials office at 1-2663 when the liquid Osmium waste bottle is full for pick  up.