How to Dispose of Carbon Tetrachloride (the safe way)

A few decades ago, carbon tetrachloride was used in fire extinguishers. It was also used as pesticides until the mid-1980s.

However, research showed that the chemical compound put the environment and the lives of people and other animals at great risk.

After that, the use of Carbon Tetrachloride has been decreasing.

However, it is used in some industrial manufacturing, but even that is greatly decreasing. If you somehow got your hands on the substance, here’s how to dispose of it.

How to Dispose of Carbon Tetrachloride

Carbon tetrachloride is a highly toxic material. Its toxicity levels are so high that the substance is being removed from all industrial use too.

So, if you have some in your possession, it’s best to hire professionals to dispose of it for you.

You may find that some old cleaning products have this substance. So, check your storage or attic and get rid of the substance immediately.

Professional hazardous waste disposal personnel will follow the proper safety protocols and have the necessary equipment to keep them safe.

Therefore, here’s what you must keep in mind if you’re going to handle some aspects of the disposal on your own.

Step 1. Understand How Hazardous Carbon Tetrachloride Is

Carbon tetrachloride can have a significant impact on your health and the environment in the long term.

Carbon Tetrachloride Can Harm Your Physical Health

Carbon tetrachloride is a carcinogenic material. What this means is that it can cause cancer after significant exposure to the substance.

You can be exposed to the chemical compound in a number of ways, including through contact, inhalation, or ingestion.

Carbon tetrachloride can cause kidney failure and even death if you are exposed to high amounts of it. In addition to that, it could severely damage your liver, causing eventual failure and death.

Carbon tetrachloride also affects the brain. Some symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, severe headaches, and so on.

Continuous exposure could worsen the health of the brain and possibly cause death.

There are other health effects of carbon tetrachloride, but the most common is damage to the brain, liver, and kidneys.

Carbon Tetrachloride Fluid Harms Wildlife

Just like carbon tetrachloride harms your physical health, it does the same to wildlife as well.

Therefore, dumping it in the trash or down the train can have catastrophic effects on animals and aquatic life.

Carbon Tetrachloride Is a Greenhouse Gas

Carbon tetrachloride evaporates quickly and becomes a gas. In that state, the chemical is a greenhouse gas.

Therefore, it depletes the ozone layer, contributing to global warming. In addition to that, it lasts in the atmosphere for 85 years, causing a great risk.

Carbon Tetrachloride Can Poison Water

Carbon tetrachloride can get into soil and poison groundwater.

Therefore, it can get into water supplies without you knowing it. You could get sick after consuming that water.

Do not throw carbon tetrachloride in the trash, down the drain, or anywhere else.

Step 2. Contact the Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility in Your City

Your city should have a hazardous waste disposal facility. Find the nearest one to where the carbon tetrachloride is stored and give it a call.

Inform the representative that you have old carbon tetrachloride to dispose of.

Ask the representative of the facility about how you should proceed with the disposal process.

Most likely, the facility will dispatch a pick-up crew to take the carbon tetrachloride off your hands.

In some cases, the facility may ask you to deliver the carbon tetrachloride to the facility for disposal.

If that is the case, you will need to make sure to handle and transport it carefully to avoid any risk of the chemical escaping its container.

If it does, it can be extremely dangerous for you, those around you, and the environment.

Ask the hazardous waste disposal facility if there are any specific guidelines that you must follow.

Carbon tetrachloride is hazardous waste material. Therefore, it will most likely have some state or federal laws regarding proper disposal.

Ask the representative of the hazardous waste disposal facility to direct you to where you can find relevant guidelines.

Step 3. Study the Laws Regarding Use and Disposal of Carbon Tetrachloride

It’s in your best interest to study the state and federal laws regarding the disposal of carbon tetrachloride.

This way, you will not commit a crime due to negligence.

If you follow improper disposal, you may end up paying high penalties. Carbon tetrachloride is eradicated from commercial use.

Therefore, the legal repercussions for improper disposal may be greater than those for other hazardous chemicals.

Step 4. Wear Safety Gear Handling the Carbon Tetrachloride Container

When handling the container, be sure to wear proper safety gear. As mentioned above, you can inhale carbon tetrachloride.

Therefore, you should wear a respirator or a mask to protect yourself from carbon tetrachloride entering your lungs and body.

At the same time, you should also wear any type of gloves that are suitable for handling hazardous chemicals.

These gloves can be made of nitrile, latex, PVC, etc.

Since there’s not much precision work required (like pouring the chemical), you don’t need gloves that offer high mobility.

So, you don’t need to pay extra for such gloves. You just need to prevent any traces of carbon tetrachloride from coming into contact with your skin. 

Step 5. Prepare the Carbon Tetrachloride for Transportation

It’s best to leave the carbon tetrachloride in its original container.

Opening it and transferring it to another container can cause you to be exposed to it, which can be extremely dangerous.

Inspect the Original Carbon Tetrachloride Container

You should, however, inspect the container to ensure that there are no signs of damage or leaks.

If the integrity of the container is compromised, place the existing container into another air-tight and secure container.

Place the Container into Another Air-Tight Container for Hazardous Waste

Do not open the cover of the original container and empty its contents.

Make sure that the new container has a lid that won’t open and is used for hazardous waste materials.

Step 6. Label the Container As Hazardous Waste

After the container is secure, label the container as hazardous waste.

Doing so is important because it will immediately inform members of the hazardous waste facility or other sanitation workers to handle with caution.

It will also reduce the chances of the container getting sorted improperly during disposal.

Step 7. Keep the Carbon Tetrachloride in a Safe Place Until Pick-Up or Drop-Off

If a hazardous waste disposal facility does offer pick-up services, there may be some waiting time until it’s out of your possession.

Also, you may not be able to drop it off the same day you get it ready for transportation.

During the waiting period, you should store the substance in a safe place. Make sure that other people or pets do not have access to the storage space.

Keep it on a high shelf away from other materials as well.

Placing it at on a high shelf will prevent children from reaching it. At the same time, don’t use a container that’s colorful as it may attract children’s attention.

In addition to that, keep the container away from heat sources. Carbon tetrachloride is flammable at high temperatures.

So, there’s always a risk of fire if you don’t take the necessary precaution.

Step 8. Transport the Carbon Tetrachloride

If you have to drop off the carbon tetrachloride at the hazardous waste disposal facility, set an appointment.

Sometimes, such facilities can be situated a little out of towns or cities. So, you should not make a trip unless you’re sure the facility is ready to receive the product.

During transportation, place it at the back of your truck or in your car’s trunk. Try to keep it as far away as possible from you.

In addition, place thick wooden planks around the carbon tetrachloride container. This way, the container will have a lower risk of tipping over and potentially spilling.

Step 9. Hand the Carbon Tetrachloride Over

Once you hand over the carbon tetrachloride to the hazardous waste disposal facility, you can rest easy knowing you are not at risk.

Last Few Words

It is imperative that you do not have carbon tetrachloride in your possession in your home (and now even in industrial spaces).

Thus, arrange an appointment with a reputable hazardous waste disposal facility and get rid of the dangerous chemical.

Other articles you may also like: