Introduction: How to Properly Dispose of an American Bullfrog After Dissection

The following instructions were designed to provide users a detailed set of instructions that describe the proper disposal of American Bullfrogs after dissection as well as the proper clean-up of utensils and work stations. It is important to dispose of animals properly after dissection, as there are many health implications for mishandling bio hazardous materials for humans, other animals, and total ecosystems.

The American Bullfrog is a type of amphibian that is commonly dissected for educational purposes in classrooms. An emerging disease, Chytrid Fungus, has been linked to a mass decline of amphibians across the globe. The fungus is in the early stages of research, yet it is drastically reducing amphibian biodiversity and has already caused extinctions in many species. It is a highly infectious disease among amphibians and it is currently unknown if transmission is possible between amphibians and other species, including humans.

Amphibian mortality has severe implications on whole ecosystems, with humans being indirectly affected in many ways.  Frogs and tadpoles not only help control algal growth in streams resulting in good water quality, they are excellent prey and predators. Animals like snakes eat frogs, and then bigger mammals eat snakes.  Humans eat big mammals, and with the mysterious spread of this novel pathogen, our food sources are being compromised. Also, because it is such a new and emerging pathogen, enough research hasn’t been conducted to determine possible implications to humans if we were to directly ingest an infected amphibian.

There is no way to remove or treat Chytrid, so now the biological focus is on helping to keep the rate of spread at a minimum. This is only one reason why the proper disposal of dissected animals, especially amphibians like the American Bullfrog, is especially important. Many other serious zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from wildlife to humans) exist, capable of causing serious health problems to humans by directly handling infected animals. Also, the chemicals that are used to preserve the animals, such as formaldehyde, are toxic chemicals that have serious side effects to humans and other life forms.

The following set of instructions will describe in detail the steps that are required to properly dispose of an American Bullfrog after dissection. Following these instructions carefully will help to ensure that essential classroom dissections are carried out without posing health and environmental risks to humans, ecosystems, and other life forms. Proper disposal is the key to a safe dissection

Step 1: Obtain Materials From Supply Station

 You will need the following items:

·         Biohazard bag

·         4 standard size sheets of newspaper

·         Biohazard collection bin

·         Biohazard sharps container

·         Small (4 oz.) bottle of dawn dishwashing detergent

·         At least 2 single sheets of paper towels

·         1 pair of gloves

Retrieve a biohazard bag, 4 standard size sheets of newspaper, a small (4oz.) bottle of Dawn dishwashing detergent, gloves, and at least 2 sheets of paper towels from the supply station. Carry the materials to your work station and set them aside. IMPORTANT: Ensure that the bag you are retrieving is a biohazard bag and not a regular trash bag. A biohazard bag will be red in color, with the black biohazard logo and the word “BIOHAZARD” printed through or under the logo.

Step 2: Separate the Frog and Its Parts From Tools and Other Trash

With gloves on your hand, place the frog and its parts on the opposite side of utensils and other trash on your dissection tray or work station. IMPORTANT: Make sure to add all animal parts to the side of the tray with the frog.

Step 3: Wrap the Frog and Its Parts in Newspaper

Carefully wrap the frog and all of its parts in 2 pieces of newspaper. Wrap the newspaper over the frog and its parts until completely covered. Once the frog has been wrapped with 2 sheets of newspaper, use the other 2 sheets to wrap the frog in an additional, double layer.

Step 4: Place the Newspaper Containing the Frog and Its Parts in the Biohazard Bag

Be sure that the frog and all of its parts are in the double-wrapped newspaper and that the newspaper is securely inside of the biohazard bag.

Step 5: Tie a Knot in the Top of the Biohazard Bag

Securely tie a tight knot at the top of the bag. For extra protection, an optional double knot can be tied in addition to a single knot at the top of the bag.

Step 6: Place the Bag in the Designated Biohazard Bin

IMPORTANTEnsure that the biohazard bag containing the newspaper with the frog and its parts is placed in the specific bin for biohazard material and NOT the trash can. The biohazard bin will contain a red biohazard bag liner, and the word “BIOHAZARD” will be printed underneath the biohazard logo on the cardboard bin. Please be sure that the bag is successfully placed in the biohazard bin and that the lid to the bin is secure afterward.

Step 7: Place All Blades Used in Dissection Process in the Designated Biohazard Sharps Container

A specific container is used to collect any sharp object that has come in contact with bio hazardous materials. It is important that the scalpel blade that was used in the dissection process is deposited into the specific biohazard sharps container. The container will be made of a hard plastic material, and will have a thin opening in the top large enough for sharp objects. The container itself will be of red color, and the front of the container will be marked with the biohazard logo and the word “BIOHAZARD” in black.

Step 8: Wet Two Paper Towels and Put Dawn Dishwashing Detergent on Them

Wet two paper towels and apply at least 2 drops of Dawn brand dishwashing detergent directly to your paper towel.

Step 9: Clean Work Station, Tools, and All Other Equipment With Dawn Solution

Thoroughly scrub your work station, tray, and all utensils used in the dissection process with the paper towel containing the Dawn solution. 

Step 10: Rinse Tools, Utensils, and Dissection Mat

After wiping all tools, utensils, and dissection mat with Dawn solution, thoroughly rinse them with warm water.

Step 11: Throw All Trash Into the Trash Receptacle

Discard all paper towels and any other trash that was used in the cleaning process in the trash receptacle.                                ***PLEASE NOTE: After carefully completing steps 1-11, your role in the proper disposal of an American Bullfrog after dissection is complete. However, as a final step in the overall disposal process, your educational institution will contact the third party that it contracts to pick up the bio hazardous material. That third party will then further dispose of the materials off-site by means of incineration.