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The federal hazardous waste regulations (40 CFR Parts 264/265.173) state, A container holding hazardous waste must always be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add or remove waste.
Electrolytes (acid or base, and distilled water) for battery cells shall be mixed in a well ventilated room. Acid or base shall be poured gradually, while stirring, into the water. Water shall never be poured into concentrated (greater than 75 percent) acid solutions. Electrolyte shall never be placed in metal containers nor stirred with metal objects.
Each container opening shall be maintained in a closed, sealed position at all times that hazardous waste is in the container except when it is necessary to use the opening to:
• Add, remove, inspect, or sample the material in the container;
• Inspect, maintain, repair, or replace equipment located inside the container, or
• Vent gases or vapors from a cover located over or enclosing an open container
• Safety devices that vent directly to the atmosphere may be used on the devices meeting all of the following conditions:
• The safety device is not used for planned or routine venting of organic vapors from the container
• The safety device remains in a closed, sealed position at all times.