Biological Specimen Handling and Disposal

Updated Jul 13, 2020

We purchase biological specimens from companies that have provided the highest quality specimens for more than 35 years. We believe that dissection is a powerful learning experience that instills knowledge, respect and provides positive benefits to our society. Experts agree that with dissection, students learn basic anatomy in a hands-on manner that cannot be duplicated.

We do not use any specimens that are threatened or endangered species. All specimens are obtained following USDA and Fish and Wildlife regulations. Our suppliers utilize sound conservation and ecological practices. Many specimens are domestic or introduced species. All specimens are euthanized utilizing published guidelines established and advocated by the American Veterinary Association.

Please read How to Handle Preserved Biological Specimens for complete details of safety specifications and procedures when using kits containing biological specimens.

Specimen Disposal

While preserved specimens are not considered hazardous waste and can typically be disposed in the trash, always contact your local waste management department to determine appropriate disposal methods.

General Disposal Guidelines

  1. Place specimens and any associated tissues in a sealable plastic bag or the bags in which they were shipped.
  2. Seal the bag and place it in an additional plastic trash bags.
  3. Deposit the specimens in a securely covered trash container that will not allow children and animals to access the contents.
  4. While still wearing gloves, use a 10% bleach solution or a bleach-based cleaner to clean any space (including the sink) that may have been contaminated during the dissection.
  5. Clean all dissection equipment, including tools and trays with the bleach solution, rinse and wash them again with soap and water, and thoroughly dry them before storage.
  6. Remove and throw away used gloves, but clean and save the apron for reuse in future dissections.
  7. Any additional waste materials, such as paper towels, should also be safely discarded in outdoor trash containers
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