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Dissection practices & disposal of dissected and unused biological specimens

  • Rinse specimens in water before dissection begins.
  • Students should not wear contact lenses because vapors from the preservative may cause eye irritation.
  • Remind students to wear goggles when dissecting, just in case some fluid squirts from the specimen.
  • Provide plenty of hand towels for cleanup. The custodian should supply paper towels.
  • Any student who does not want to participate in the dissection must be provided an alternative such as a virtual or simulated dissection.
  • Provide papers or plastic bags for the students to wrap or place the remnants in before placing in the trash bin.
  • These specimens are not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in with regular garbage.
  • It is a good idea to notify the custodial staff when dissections are taking place and that biological waste will need to be removed. Please ask the custodian to create a work request trade code 75.

NOTE: Any leftover jars or containers of preserved specimens that are not going to be used should be included with other unwanted chemicals for removal. Please refer to the instructions and form for chemical removal process. (This form for Lab Specialists is taken from the DOE Science Safety Manual.)