Environmental Health & Safety

Toxic Material Use Reduction Policy

January 2010


ScopeToxic Symbol

This policy is prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Massachusetts General Law (MGL) c. 21I, § 3, 10-12 of the Toxic Use Reduction Act; the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 310 CMR 50; and the Amherst College Environmental Health and Safety Committee.


Amherst College is committed to the reduction, wherever possible, of hazardous material acquisition, utilization, storage, and the subsequent need for disposal of hazardous waste. This policy is written to provide guidance regarding decisions related to the acquisition of hazardous materials.


All departments, employees, visitors, and subcontractors at Amherst College.


Hazardous Material: A product, waste or combination of substances which because of its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, toxic, radioactive, or infectious characteristics may reasonably pose a significant, actual, or potential hazard to human health, safety, welfare, or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, used, disposed of, or otherwise managed. Hazardous materials include - without limitation - synthetic organic chemicals, petroleum products, heavy metals, radioactive or infectious materials, and all substances defines as "toxic" or "hazardous" under MGL Chapters 21C and 21 E using the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material List in 310 CMR 40.

Planning and Procurement

A. Academic Departments
  1. For teaching and research laboratories, wherever possible, substitute less hazardous materials into existing and new experiments or research directions. If possible avoid the use of acutely hazardous materials entirely, DEP 310 CMR 30 p-listed compounds. Please see the Chemical Hygiene Officer for assistance regarding these types of hazardous materials.
  2. Wherever possible identify hazardous materials which are no longer needed but may be utilized by another researcher or laboratory.
  3. Procure hazardous materials in the smallest quantities available which meet the maximum usage requirements. It is more economical for Amherst College to repurchase additional quantities of hazardous materials when needed than to declare excess quantities of such materials as hazardous waste for disposal.
B. Physical Plant Functions and other Departments
  1. Whenever possible, procure only environmentally friendly cleaners, waxes, paints inks, etc. especially where products of household quality will meet Amherst College quality, functionality, and cost requirements.
  2. Procure stock amounts of chemical supplies, oils, etc. which will be consumed over a suitable time frame based upon the usage rate. If it is anticipated that a substitute for a stock produce will be needed, attempt to consume the existing stock before introducing new materials, if possible.
C. Subcontractors
  1. Wherever possible, subcontractors will be required to use only environmentally friendly products at Amherst College. Where hazardous material can not be avoided, the contractor shall provide a plan detailing the hazardous material, the quantity to be used, the location utilized, spill and control plans, and finally the subcontractor's disposition of any hazardous waste.

Utilization and Management of Hazardous Materials

  1. All hazardous material will be handled, used, and stored in accordance with the Hazardous Material Management Policy, and/or the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  2. Any hazardous material which is deemed unacceptable for future use or is identified as excess material without future need will be declared hazardous waste by attachment of the appropriate hazardous waste label and managed in accordance with the Hazardous Waste Management Policy.
[Quick Links]
Quick Links
  • Chemical Inventory System
  • Incident Report Forms
  • MSDS On-Line
  • Permit Application Forms – Town of Amherst
  • Sustainability
  • Water Quality Report – Town of Amherst