Preparing Biological Lab Equipment for In-House Service or Disposal

Laboratory equipment used with biological materials (i.e. rDNA, microorganisms, cell lines, tissues, organs, body fluids, and biologically derived or contaminated media) can potentially be contaminated with those materials. Therefore, it is important to inform non-laboratory staff who service or relocate laboratory equipment, as well as anyone who may acquire laboratory equipment from surplus, of any potential hazards that may be present. The procedure below applies to all lab equipment in this category EXCEPT biological safety cabinets (BSC).


  1. It is the laboratory’s responsibility to ensure that lab equipment is clean and decontaminated to remove all potentially hazardous residues prior to moving it for relocation, repair or surplus purposes. Examples of biological lab equipment include refrigerators, freezers, cryotanks, incubators, water baths, centrifuges/rotors, etc.
  2. Biological Lab Equipment Release form must be completed and attached to each device to document it is safe for handling and repair purposes.
  3. Then, place a work order so that it can be moved or serviced by Vanderbilt Facilities Management/Plant Operations personnel.


For specific inquiries related to the content of this document, please contact the Biosafety Section at 322-2057.

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