Hazardous waste database plans dumped

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Jul 01, 2011

SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) scrapped plans to create a hazardous waste product database for veterinarians.

The Executive Board created a task force in June 2010 to study whether creating a national database of veterinary products that contain hazardous materials would be feasible, considering state and city laws on hazardous waste vary, and veterinarians are often at a loss on how best to deal with their own local restrictions. By November, the Executive Board approved using the association's existing resources to further study the issue, but in April decided there was not enough interest to pursue the project further.

A survey conducted among AVMA members showed that out of about 200 veterinarians, 71 percent thought regulatory agencies were already the most important source of information on hazardous waste disposal. About 71 percent said they already have workplace procedures in place for dealing with hazardous materials. Additionally, 87 percent say they were not aware of an Environmental Protection Agency list of regulated hazardous wastes, and 65 percent were not aware of online EPA resources on regional and state hazardous waste disposal regulations.

"While the survey results do not support the development of a hazardous waste product database at this time, they do reveal key opportunities for the AVMA in enhancing the membership's awareness and understanding of the current regulations pertaining to hazardous substances and wastes," says Dr. Kristi Henderson, assistant director for AVMA's Scientific Activities Division.

AVMA still provides information on hazardous waste disposal at http://www.avma.org/issues/environment/wastedisposal/.