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Medical Waste Regulations Minnesota

Medical Waste in the State of Minnesota

Medical Waste Regulations Minnesota

Medical waste guidelines for handling, storage, disposal, and staff/employee training have been set up in the local, state, and federal levels. In the past, many federal agencies once governed the laws, however, in most cases, these have been superseded by state and local guidelines and may be close to the federal guidelines. For the state of Minnesota, they have established the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that works in conjunction with state-wide environmental regulations in the handling, treatment, and proper disposal of medical waste. The state makes use of federal guidelines in many cases, including medical waste packaging and storage. Those organizations that create medical waste are required to comply with all laws and guidelines to avoid contamination of potentially infectious materials. The industries are held accountable for medical waste in the “cradle-to-grave” concept, which means that they are responsible for the medical waste from the moment that it is generated to the final appropriate disposal process, including all documentation and confirmation.

Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency covers detailed regulations in all aspects of medical waste, including a PDF document that offers step-by-step instructions on maintaining compliance, handling, and treatment of hazardous waste as well as waste identification, hazardous waste disposal, and waste characteristics.

The state of Minnesota has an additional detailed list of disposal requirements under the state’s Infectious Waste Management guidelines (MR 7035.9100 – 7035.9150)

Minnesota is one of the twenty one states that operate an approved OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) that has rules and guidelines in the HERC section for the health and safety of staff, patients, storage, containers, and labeling of medical/infectious waste and required employee training to ensure efficacy.

Minnesota identifies medical waste in much the same as other states and the federal government:

The specific characteristics of infectious waste in the state of Minnesota is defined as:

Infectious waste means waste originating from the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a person or animal that has been or may have been exposed to a contagious or infectious disease.  Unless the materials have been rendered noninfectious by procedures approved by the state commissioner of health, infectious waste includes: 

Who Generates Medical Waste

Any industry or organization that has contact with human or animal tissue, blood, or body fluids that could potentially be infectious is considered to be a generator of medical waste. While most people might think that these industries would be limited to the medical field, there are a number of organizations that are outside of that definition. Generators of medical waste can include but are not limited to: hospitals, medical clinics, physician offices, veterinarians, dental offices, dentists, tattoo parlors, body piercing businesses, funeral homes, coroner’s offices, pharmacies, independent and university research labs, and biological companies.

A majority of these organizations and business hire licensed and professional medical waste disposal companies that are knowledgeable in local, state, and federal guidelines for the appropriate disposal of all medical waste types.

Medical Waste Storage Requirements

The state of Minnesota does not allow any commercial transporter or facility owner or operator to receive infectious waste for offsite decontamination, storage, or disposal that is not packaged using the state requirements.

Storage of waste by offsite facility owners and operators requires compliance with the following:

Medical Waste Transport Requirements

Minnesota allows for both generator and commercial transportation of medical waste, and both types of transportation require that the transporters comply with the strict guidelines that have been established.

Generator Transport Requirements

Commercial Transporter Requirements 

Source Separation

On-site separation requires that all medical waste be placed in a location that is inaccessible to unauthorized staff members, the general public, and any individuals or companies that are not authorized to add to or pick up the medical waste.  Separation and segregation of medical waste, including infectious medical waste in the state of Minnesota must be complied with using the following rules:

Minnesota requires that both in-house and off-site storage locations have a spill cleanup kit for use in storage, decontamination, or disposal of infectious waste as well as on each transport vehicle. The cleanup kits must include:

Response to a spill must include the following minimum procedures: 

Procedures for disinfecting contaminated surfaces include, but are not limited to, agitation to remove visible soil and application of one of the following chemical sanitizers for the contact time required by the manufacturer’s label: 

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Parent page – Medical Waste Disposal


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