Checklist for Departing Researchers - Lab Decommissioning

Department Heads should coordinate with Environmental Health & Safety and janitorial services to ensure hazardous materials and waste are removed from a researcher’s lab prior his or her departure. All hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials, biohazards, and controlled substances must be inventoried and disposed of in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. A radioactive lab must be decommissioned by staff from the Radiation Protection Office before it is vacated. The authorization for use of radioactive material will be closed out after the lab(s) are decommissioned. The Office for Research Protections (ORP) should be consulted regarding any open protocols pertaining to radioisotopes and/or regulated biohazardous materials. Additional guidance can be found at

Contact ORP for guidance on disposal of controlled substances and handling of a DEA registration upon departure from Penn State (

Note: At the College of Medicine, please contact the Department of Safety for additional guidance. At all other locations, please contact Environmental Health and Safety and/or the Office for Research Protections.