Pharmaceutical Wastes

There are many chemical and/or pharmaceutical compounds used in research or in the treatment of diseases that are also considered by the EPA to be hazardous wastes when disposed of.  Listed below are some common materials found at the University of Florida.

NOTE: This list is provided as a guide only and is by no means all-inclusive. Please refer to the Chemical Waste Management Guide for a more comprehensive listing of characteristic wastes and specific chemicals that are regulated as Hazardous Waste.


The 7 drugs listed below are regulated as hazardous waste for the purpose of disposal. This includes out-of-date and unused materials. Any of these materials in liquid or solid form must be collected by EH&S for disposal. They cannot be placed in biological waste containers (red bags or boxes), poured down the drain or placed in the regular trash. Sharps, pipette tips, tubing, gloves, wipes and any other items contaminated with these materials should be disposed of as biological waste.

  • Chlorambucil (Leukeran)
  • Melphalan (Alkeran)
  • Uracil Mustard
  • Mitomycin (Mutamycin)
  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar, Procytox)
  • Streptozocin (Zanosar)
  • Dauorubicin (Cerubidine)

Commonly Used Medicinal Products

These products, for disposal purposes, are also regulated as hazardous wastes and are commonly found in medical use or research.

  • Diethylstilbestrol
  • Epinephrine
  • Hexachlorophene
  • Nicotine
  • Nitroglycerine
  • Phenacetin
  • Resorcinol
  • Reserpine
  • Saccharin

Heavy Metals

Arsenic, Lead and Cadmium compounds are commonly used in veterinary medicine. Barium (Barium Sulfate) is used as an x-ray contrast medium. Chromium is found in many nutritional supplements. Mercury is found in preservatives (Thimerosol), thermometers, sphygnomanometers and antiseptics (Mercurochrome). Selenium is found in ointments (selenium sulfide), shampoos and nutritional supplements. Silver can be found in burn ointments (Silvadene), styptic sticks (silver nitrate) and some antiseptics.

Minute quantities of these metals can make your waste a hazardous waste. The regulatory limits are 0.2 mg/l for mercury, 1.0mg/l for selenium and cadmium, 5.0 mg/l for lead, chromium, silver and arsenic and 100 mg/l for barium.

Other EPA Regulated Chemicals with Medicinal Uses

The following is a list of compounds that may have medicinal, pharmacological, research or other similar uses.




 Pharmaceutic aid (solvent)
 Acetyl Chloride  testing for cholesterol
 Acrylonitrile  used in pharmaceutical mfg.
 Aniline  used in pharmaceutical mfg.
 Azaserine  antifungal, antineoplastic
 3- Benzyl Chloride  used in pharmaceutical mfg.
 Bromoform  sedative, hypnotic, antitussive
 Cacodylic Acid  dermatologic
 Carbon Tetrachloride  anthelmintic, phamaceutic aid (solvent)
 Chloral  mfg. of chloral hydrate
 Chlornaphazin  antineoplastic
 p-Chloro-m-cresol  antiseptic
 2-Chloroethyl vinyl ether  mfg of anesthetics and sedatives
 Chloroform  anesthetic
 Creosote   antiseptic, expectorant
 Cresol  antiseptic, disinfectant
 Chloropropionitrile  used in pharmaceutical synthesis
 Dichlorobenzene  germicide, used in pharmaceutical mfg
 Diisopropylfluorophosphate  cholinesterase deactivator
 Dimethylamine  used in pharmaceutical mfg.
 Dimethylphenethylamine  adrenergic
 Ethyl Acetate  pharmaceutic aid (flavoring agent)
 Ethyl Carbamate   antineoplastic
 Ethylene Oxide   surgical instrument sterilizer
 Ethyl Ether  disinfectant, anesthetic
 Formaldehyde  antiseptic, disinfectant, preservative
 Hexachloroethane  anthelmintic
 Lindane  scabicide
 Maleic Anhydride  mfg of pharmaceuticals
 Methanol  solvent used in the mfg. of pharmaceuticals
 Methapyrilene  antihistaminic
 3-Methylcholanthrene  used experimentally in cancer research
 Methylthiouracil  thyroid inhibitor
 Napthtlalene  antiseptic, anthelmintic
 Paraldehyde  sedative, hypnotic, controlled substance
 Phenol  antiseptic, anesthetic, antipruritic
 Sodium Diethyl dithiocarbamate  Ni/Cd poisoning antidote
 Physostigime Salicylate  chlolinergic
 Physostigime  chlolinergic
 Potassium Silver Cyanide  bactericide
 Strychnine  veterinary tonic and stimulant
 Tetrachloroethylene  anthelmintic
 Trichloroethylene  inhalation anesthetic, mfg. of pharmaceuticals
 Thiram  antiseptic
 Warfarin  anticoagulant

Please remember that this list is not all-inclusive; there are many regulated wastes not on this page. UF’s Chemical Waste Management Guide gives comprehensive guidance for making hazardous waste determinations.