Environmental Health & Safety

University of Colorado Boulder

Resources

Use & Disposal of Acidic Piranha Solutions

General Description

Incidents involving the use and disposal of acidic ‘piranha’ solutions indicate a heightened potential for serious injury to campus researchers, EH&S staff and staff of the hazardous waste disposal vendor handling piranha wastes for final disposal. As a result, increased safety procedures are required.

Piranha solutions should only be used when there are no other alternatives. Due to the difficulties in handling and disposing of piranha, along with the significant safety hazards it presents in the laboratory, it should not be used for routine cleaning of glassware or anything else. Substitutes such as Nanostrip™ or a Nochromix™ solution are safer alternatives and present less difficulty in disposing.

Principle Investigators are responsible for developing safe procedures for using piranha that are specific to their laboratory and also ensuring that each individual in their research group is trained on these procedures prior to using piranha. This training should also include emergency splash/spill procedures.

Only pre-approved acid piranha solutions containing Sulfuric acid and Hydrogen Peroxide will be accepted for proper disposal.