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Biohazard Waste Management: Know What You’re dealing With

June 10, 2021

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Biohazard Waste Management: Know What You’re dealing With

Biohazard Waste Management. Biohazardous waste materials, including biological hazards from pathogens, are normally contained in secure sealed containers. Many such containers are marked with biohazard stickers and specially designed for the safe storage of hazardous biohazards. Unfortunately, biohazard waste can also be the source of solid waste contamination. Often, biological hazards do not present the same health and environmental risks as other types of wastes. This makes it important to identify and dispose of biohazard waste properly.

When biohazard waste is disposed of improperly or is not contained correctly, it can pose a serious risk to the public, both at the local level and nationwide. Biohazard wastes can be contaminated with pathogens that can cause serious disease. Such waste management issues are best handled by proper professionals who have the training and experience required to comply with EPA standards. Such professionals are found online, like Healthcare Waste Management with decades of experience and our own treatment facilities we can handle all your biohazard waste disposal needs. 

There are many instances where hazardous waste must be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Contamination with infectious waste can occur when disposing of it in traditional waste management containers such as landfills or in facilities that do not have proper disposal containers. Contamination with infectious waste can also occur when biohazards are improperly and discarded on site, leading to contamination of surface and groundwater. Therefore, it is imperative that companies engage with appropriate biohazard waste management companies, taking care to protect the environment and human health.

Who Defines Biohazardous Waste?

The EPA defines biohazardous waste as any waste that contains one or more types of infectious agents. For example, biological contaminants from infectious disease that can cause disease in living beings or that can lead to contamination of the public or private health and safety infrastructure can be categorized as biohazards. Virtually any biohazard can also be classified as a Personal protective equipment, or PPE. In other words, anything that can give off an infectious substance and/or allow an infectious substance to be inhaled or absorbed by a living organism can be considered a biohazard.

In general, if there is a possibility that a biohazard will contaminate or otherwise affect the environment, then proper biohazard waste management needs to be engaged in. These wastes are unwanted by individuals but are of great environmental importance. Therefore, it is necessary for facilities and companies to work with experienced and trained biohazard waste management contractors to dispose of biohazards safely and securely. If not disposed of properly, biohazardous materials can seep into the groundwater and/or pollute the soil and air.

In accordance with EPA’s Biohazard Prevention Act, all companies are required to create and place in appropriate locations a biohazard waste management system that includes physical controls, technology to detect and contain any biohazard waste, environmental monitoring, and reporting. All areas of the facility are also required to be inspected on a regular basis. The only exception to this requirement is if the facility is only operating between scheduled maintenance visits. Facilities must also strictly comply with all state and federal regulations governing the handling, storage, transport, disposal, recycling, and treatment of biohazardous waste.

A good biohazard waste management company should provide high-quality services by establishing a program that uses both closed and open systems for the safe storage, transportation, disposal, recycling, and treatment of medical waste. The most effective programs involve the use of specially designed, high-tech closed biohazard containers for high-risk waste, including vented containers, and closed sharps containers with leak-proof, reinforced seals. An effective program also involves the proper use of appropriate technological infrastructure, including EPA approved waste-disposal sites; well-stocked, fully functioning waste collection, and handling equipment; professional waste transfer and disposal services, and prompt and adequate emergency response. Finally, the program should include adequate and timely reporting and clean-up following an incident.

Biohazard Waste Management Company

It is always best to contract with a qualified, experienced, and responsive biohazard waste management company like Healthcare Waste Management. Healthcare Waste Management is proud to bring decades of medical waste disposal experience to our customers. From the local medical office to national healthcare systems, we bring innovation and customer service that is unparalleled. We offer the highest quality service at the most economical prices by owning the entire process of your biohazard waste disposal needs, our trucks, our employees, our treatment plants. Contact HWM today for any questions or a hassle-free quote. 

The Biohazard Waste Disposal Processes

It is important that the proper Biohazard Waste Disposal is followed in order to protect the public from hazardous or harmful substances. These are considered hazardous because of their dangerous nature and thus, they should be disposed of accordingly. There are different types of biohazards, and these include biological safety cabinets, sharps, dilapidors, hazardous drugs, medical wastes, and blood products. These chemicals and wastes can cause many hazards including contamination of the soil, leakages, and spills. There are regulations which need to be followed by healthcare organizations and professional biohazard waste companies in order to dispose of these biohazardous items properly.

There are some specific methods which are used for the safe handling and disposal of biohazard waste. First, it is necessary to have a legal agreement between the parties involved. This agreement should cover the responsibilities and liabilities of each party and should define the roles and responsibilities of any third-party as well. In addition to this, all the equipment and machinery used in the medical waste handling must be certified free from any kind of biohazards that could prove to be dangerous for the public. This means that biohazard waste should not be mixed with medical devices and other equipment. Biohazardous materials include biological agents, in particulate form such as blood, plasma, stem cells, and nerve tissues, as well as other potentially hazardous medical waste materials.

Another method through which biohazardous substances can be disposed of is through the use of sharps containers. The sharps containers are highly effective medical waste disposal devices and are available in the market, in varied volumes and types. Sharps can be used for the purpose of a blood draw, giving medicine, or extracting excess fluid. However, all the sharps should be disposed of properly or in the case of a reusable instrument it should be sterilized in between their application.

Segregating Biohazardous Waste

Biohazard waste should also be segregated according to the hazard it entails. The areas should be marked with warning signs as well as containers for the purpose of easy collection. The containers for biohazard waste disposal process can be clearly identified by the use of color-coding, tamper evident seals, locking mechanisms, and other relevant security features.

Another method of segregating and dealing with medical waste is through biological safety cabinets. These cabinets are available in a wide variety of sizes and designs and are designed to store all types of bodily fluids, such as blood, bodily fluids, and infectious agents, etc. These types of waste containers should also have proper labeling according to the type of fluid stored within them. These containers can either be plastic or glass and are most commonly used for the storage of infectious agents. Plastic, medical waste containers are known for being leak-proof and do not retain infectious agents for a long time. Glass and wood cabinets are durable and strong, but are rarely leak-proof and contain biological hazards, which could be dangerous if released.

Another method of segregating biohazard waste disposal processes involves using recombinant DNA technology. This is currently being tested in a number of hospitals and medical research involving human seroconversion and bloodborne pathogens. Using genetic engineering, researchers are attempting to produce specific viruses and bacteria that may be able to withstand attempts at sterilization and confining in laboratory settings. These “knock-offs” could be then used for the biosafety of blood and other bodily fluids.

It is important that all potentially contaminated fluids are segregated immediately. This is done through the use of biological waste bags. Biomass waste bags are used to collect and contain all potentially contaminated bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, and urine. These waste bags are available in a wide variety of forms, including disposable, biodegradable, and others.

The disposal of potentially contaminated bodily fluid can also be accomplished through the use of closed, airtight containers. Containers are available that are designed to house bodily fluid and infectious waste for long periods of time (such as those used in medical facilities). These containers are commonly referred to as isolation units, and they are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Although these containers are effective at containing infectious waste for a period of time, they are not as effective at containing hazardous liquids that leak out from containers. These leaks present a real and potential threat to both the environment and the health of those who utilize the product and/or its containers.

Biohazard Waste and Diseases

Biohazardous waste is any kind of waste that could contain potentially infectious or hazardous elements that could be harmful to humans, the environment, or the community. Hospitals are the biggest generators of biohazards and are responsible for more than 5.9 billion pounds per year. The most commonly found forms of biohazards in hospitals are medical waste, drug waste, pharmaceutical waste, and clinical waste. Although all these wastes pose a potential threat to public health and safety, there is currently no one specific legislation in place that regulates the storage, handling, disposal, and transport of biohazards, it is rather a mix of EPA, DOT and other state and local regulatory governing bodies.

There have been many instances where biohazards were disposed of improperly resulting in contamination of the environment or to other patients and other third parties. In some instances, biohazards were disposed of without being properly classified as biohazards. The improper disposal of medical waste, drug waste, and pharmaceutical waste has resulted in an increased level of exposure to potentially harmful infectious agents. These agents can cause serious disease in susceptible individuals and have the potential to cause death in individuals who are not immune to their effects.

A number of diseases that have been found to be associated with unsafe handling of medical waste have been around for a long time. For instance, botulism was a deadly disease discovered in the 1950s that was associated with improperly disposed needles. Many other diseases that are associated with potentially hazardous waste have also been around for decades. Exposure to these types of infectious agents has been found to result in increased risk for infections such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Many other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis have also been linked to unsafe handling of needles.

Because some infections may take place from the reuse of contaminated equipment or after contact with a contaminated person or animal, it is vital to ensure that biohazards are correctly disposed of. The facilities that care for patients are constantly educating the staff on proper safety practices. It is a legal requirement for facilities to adhere to these guidelines and they are closely monitored by the state.

Many facilities utilize sharps disposal devices to dispose of medical waste because of the low cost and limited time available for cleanup. Unfortunately, improper disposal of sharps also results in exposure to hazardous waste. In order to protect against exposure to harmful biohazards, it is important that all medical waste go through a biohazard waste disposal professional. As a facility owner or administrator, you have a legal responsibility to make sure that all appropriate steps are taken to ensure proper disposal and no harm comes to anyone during the storage or disposal process.

When facilities generate high volumes of medical waste, it may be necessary to hire a third-party company to manage the logistics of picking up and destroying the waste. A medical waste tracking act requires facility owners and managers to track and record the amount of wastes generated and being disposed. By tracking and recording the volume of waste being produced and disposed, facility owners can see when waste is generated, and disposal is needed. Sometimes storage rooms become too full, when this happens, they must implement corrective measures to return waste generation and disposal levels to a balanced level. In addition, tracking the waste generated, and informing management when waste generation and disposal exceed capacity, helps to ensure that facility security is maintained.

While the goal of medical waste disposal is to keep clinical waste away from patients, most facilities generate a small amount of medical waste that could be contaminated with bacteria. For example, all medical waste created from patient needles must go through a medical autoclave or similar disinfection before being disposed of. An autoclave sterilizes the needles and other materials used in the creation of medical waste. Autoclaves kill any germs on the needles, preventing the growth of infection-causing bacteria.

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