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How to Package Biohazard Waste

May 5, 2021

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How to Package Biohazard Waste

How to Package Biohazard Waste. Generators of biohazard waste are responsible for all aspects of the waste from the moment that it is created to the ultimate safe disposal. This process entails handling, packaging, storage, and ensuring that disposal complies with all local, state, and federal laws. Proper and safe packaging is an essential step for the safety of people and the planet so that dangerous diseases are not transmitted.

The Biohazard Waste Container

Most of the healthcare providers used FDA-cleared containers that offer the best levels of containment safety. These containers are sturdy, leak-proof, puncture-proof, and sealable for safe storage and transport. In the case of using corrugated boxes the bottom flaps must be sealed with clear, wide, packing tape as well as arrows printed on the exterior to demonstrate container top and bottom. The exterior must also have text identifying the contents and the universal “Hazard” logo.

Lining the Biohazard Waste Container

Red-colored biohazard bags are used to line the interior of all containers holding biohazard materials. The bags must allow overlapping of the outer sides of the container on all four sides. Confirm any bag thickness requirements that are governed by local and state guidelines. Always comply with the weight limitations of all biohazard containers.

Know What Should be Placed in the Red Bag

Medical waste is defined by local, state, and federal laws and it’s the responsibility of every generator to know what is allowed for medical waste disposal. Never place sharps or any other loose needles, trace chemotherapy, recycling, regular trash or pathological waste in the medical waste red bag. The red bag can contain disposable, puncture-resistant sharps. Any trace chemotherapy or pathological waste needs to be marked for incineration as well as to segregated from other waste placed in red bags that will not be incinerated. Containers should always have space at the top and never be filled past the 2/3 mark.

Proper Securing of Red Bags

Always wear gloves when dealing with red bags. When a red bag is ready to be secured, gather all four edges from the container sides and twist the bag top to seal the contents inside. The bag should then be secured with a strong zip-tie or a gooseneck knot for the prevention of leakage if the bag is turned upside down. Make sure that the red bag is totally closed so that nothing can escape or leak.

Sealing Biohazard Waste Containers

When using FDA-cleared medical waste containers make sure that the lid is secure and that all locking, and closures are in place. If using corrugated boxes, the top of the box needs to be sealed with two-inch wide, clear packing tape. Use the top flaps to secure auto-locking boxes.

Exterior Markings and Labeling

Always use the universal “hazard” symbol on the outside of biohazard containers. There are federal laws that require this but there may be additional local and state laws for additional container exterior marking/labeling. A licensed and professional medical waste disposal company such as Healthcare Waste Management can advise on laws in your area as well as supply the regulated containers and labeling for proper disposal.

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