Mayo Fined for Waste Violations; but Improper Disposal Didn't Threaten Health, an Official Said

By Cox, Jeremy | The Florida Times Union, June 7, 2010 | Go to article overview

Mayo Fined for Waste Violations; but Improper Disposal Didn't Threaten Health, an Official Said


Cox, Jeremy, The Florida Times Union


Byline: JEREMY COX

In a rare brush with regulators, the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville was fined nearly $10,000 last month for two violations of federal hazardous-waste disposal rules.

Inspectors from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection combed the hospital, clinic and research labs at Mayo's complex on San Pablo Road for violations for two days last October. Mayo wasn't notified in advance.

They uncovered 15 potential problems. Most were minor, such as mislabeling of waste containers and shards of broken fluorescent bulbs in a maintenance area, according to DEP records.

But two led to a fine of $9,728, handed down on May 21 and since paid by Mayo.

Inspectors cited the facility for improper disposal of hazardous waste after finding that boxes of needles and vials containing toxic chemotherapy drug residue were being disposed of as biomedical waste. Federal law requires leftover chemotherapy drugs, even small amounts, to be treated as hazardous waste.

Mayo also was cited for failing to make a hazardous waste determination on a gel-like waste substance produced in a research lab and containing chloroform and carbolic acid. The effects of exposure to carbolic acid, or phenol, include liver and kidney damage and, in large amounts, death. …

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