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Disposing of Biohazardous Materials

October 6, 2021

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Disposing of Biohazardous Materials

Disposing of Biohazardous Materials. Biohazard Waste can pose a serious threat to people’s health, animals, and the environment. This type of waste is known or could potentially be infected with dangerous bloodborne pathogens. Some examples would be Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. When being exposed to potentially dangerous bloodborne pathogens, it is important that a worker is trained, vaccinated, and has the appropriate personal protection equipment to protect them.

There is not a single, uniform definition of biohazard waste or medical waste. Each state has different regulations for classifying biohazard waste. The first step to understanding your states biohazard waste disposal regulations is to check with your state’s EPA website to learn the classifications and regulations you will need to follow.

Biohazard Waste Disposal Procedures

The procedures for biohazard waste disposal vary by type of biohazard waste i.e., sharps, material, liquid, etc. and by state regulations. However, there are some common steps that most biohazard disposal procedures will involve, they are as follows.

Wear the necessary PPE personal protection equipment, including gloves, face mask, and face shield if required.

The most important step in staying safe when handling solid biohazard waste materials is to protect any entry point, mucous membranes, eyes, nose, mouth, and any open wounds you may have.   

Place the biohazard waste in a specially designed biohazard container. Specific biohazard container types will vary by use and state. In most states, you’ll use a thick plastic biohazard bag, colored red, with the biohazard symbol markings on it. This goes inside a biohazard box or bin.

For sharps disposal, you will use an FDA cleared sharps container. FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers are made from rigid plastic and come marked with a line that indicates when the container should be considered full, which means it’s time to dispose of the container.

Typically, the biohazard box or bin will have the UN number listed on it and a place to list the facilities or ‘generators” information. In case it does not, you will need to apply any required labels, such as an U.N. label to the biohazard waste container. And any other required labels like the contact information for the biohazard waste facilities origin.

Once the container is full place the biohazard waste at dedicated waste storage area that does not have public access and has the proper markings for storing biohazardous materials. This area should be secure and have scheduled pickups from a licensed biohazard waste disposal company. There are a couple of regulations that vary from state to state like the amount of waste a generator can store and the length of time it can be stored. Make sure to check your state requirements or ask your biohazard waste disposal company. 

Your licensed medical waste disposal company will collect the biohazard waste and transport it to its waste disposal facility for sterilization and disposal. Contact Healthcare Waste Management today with any questions you may have.   

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) notes “Transporting and storing regulated medical wastes within the healthcare facility prior to terminal treatment is often necessary. Both federal and state regulations address the safe transport and storage of on- and off-site regulated medical wastes”.

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