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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Pigment Microbial MetabolismApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-03-28 15:19:31 ... Most recent comment 2017-03-30 10:12:00
    Health and Safety Oil Paint Pigments

    ​I have a large oily waste can that contains rags contaminated with lead and mercury (vermilion) based pigments. In order to dispose of them, I will need to dump the waste into a large bag and bring it to a Hazardous waste disposal facility. The can I use has been sitting outside covered for around 6 months, and contains water for combustion concerns. Should I be concerned about any potential metabolic processes that may occur from mold or microbes growing within the rags that could potentially turn Mercuric Sulfide, into a more toxic form of mercury, or any other heavy metal based pigment? If so, what process should I take so that I can dispose of it safetly and not expose myself to these compounds. 

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Very good question...we have sent this on to some of our Health and Safety experts as well as our scientists on the Moderating Board so hopefully they will be able to weigh in with some useful information. I am inclined to say that you probably do not have much to worry are using good practices to deal with proper waste disposal and as long as you have a devoted can for these purposes it should be alright. You might ultimately decide to ditch the can after a year or so however (at the same waste disposal facility) just to be extra cautious.

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2017-03-28 16:48:41
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​I can't really speak to the chemistry, but hazardous waste regulations and protocols are determined on a local level (usually city or county) so the best thing to do is contact your county or local hazardous waste disposal site and find out exactly how they would like you to handle it.  If possible have them contain it for you unless they can provide instructions and you have all the proper personal protective equipment including gloves, goggles and a respirator (or proper ventilation).  It sounds like from what you are describing you may need a respirator rated for oils, particulates and the specific chemicals. Gloves are specific to the chemical too. I would also find out from them the proper storage containers for this kind of waste in the future to avoid having to transfer/handle it multiple times. 

    Kerith Koss Schrager (Co-Chair, AIC Health & Safety Committee)

    2017-03-30 10:11:45

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