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Medical Waste Regulations Ohio

Medical Waste in the State of Ohio

Medical Waste Regulations Ohio

The State of Ohio has a state EPA (Environmental Protection Administration) that regulates the treatment and generation of infectious waste. Any organization complying with the Ohio Chapter 3734 of the Ohio Revised code that generates more than fifty (50) pounds of infectious waste per month is required to register with Ohio EPA and comply with the requirements so that there is assurance that all waste is treated prior to disposal.

Medical waste handling, treatment, and disposal must also comply with federal Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines for transportation of medical waste.

As per the State of Ohio guidelines:

Ohio’s infectious waste regulations contain approved treatment methods.  Most commonly, autoclave and incineration technologies are used to treat infectious waste prior to disposal.  Additional approved treatment methods include chemical treatment utilizing a sodium hypochlorite solution (bleach) for stocks and cultures; applied heat encapsulation for sharps; and chemical treatment utilizing peracetic acid and grinding.  A business may submit a request for site-specific or statewide approval of an alternative treatment technology.

Ohio defines medical waste as “infectious waste”:

“Infectious agent” means a type of microorganism, pathogen, virus orprions that cancauseor significantly contribute to disease in or death of human beings. “Zoonotic agent” means a type of microorganism, pathogen, virus or prion that causes disease in vertebrate animals, is transmissible to human beings and can cause or significantly contribute to disease in or death of human beings. “Infectious waste” means any wastes or combination of wastes that include cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biological, human blood and blood products, and substances that were or are likely to have been exposed to or contaminated with or are likely to transmit an infectious agent or zoonotic agent, including the following: · laboratory wastes; · pathological wastes; · animal blood and blood products; · animal carcasses and parts; · waste materials from the rooms of humans, or the enclosures of animals, that have been isolated because of a diagnosed communicable disease; · sharp wastes used in the treatment of human beings or animals, or sharp wastes that have or are likely to have come in contact with infectious agents; · waste materials generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, research pertaining to the immunization of human beings or animals, or in the production or testing of biologicals, thatthe public health council identifies as infectious wastes; · “blood products” does notinclude patient care waste such as bandages or disposable gowns that are lightly soiled with blood; and · any other waste materials the generator designates as infectious wastes. Note: nearly all categories of infectious waste depend upon the presence or the possibility of the presence of infectious agents. The exceptions to this are blood, blood products, and cultures, which are always considered infectious waste.”

Who Generates Medical/Infectious Waste

Medical waste generators that require medical waste disposal can be any organization or company that comes into contact or deals with materials that could be infectious and/or contagious to humans, the community or the environment. Some medical waste generators can include but are not limited to: hospitals, medical facilities, research and experimental laboratories, dentists, coroners, funeral homes, veterinarians, pharmacies, tattoo parlors, body piercing companies.

According to the state of Ohio, a small waste generator is:

“Any business that generates infectious waste is considered an infectious waste generator and is subject to Ohio’s infectious waste regulations. An infectious waste generator is classified as a small generator when less than 50 pounds of infectious waste are generated per calendar month.

Small generators of medical waste:

“Small generators are required to maintain a monthly generation log of the amount of infectious waste generated each calendar month. The monthly generation rate log must show the weight of all the infectious waste generated during each calendar month. If the infectious waste is sent to a licensed infectious waste treatment facility, the generator may use the shipping papers that include the weight of all the infectious waste that is generated during that calendar month. Small generators may also use a combination of a monthly generation rate log and shipping papers to document the monthly generation rate if the generator does not send all infectious wastes generated for treatment.”

According to the state of Ohio, a large waste generator is:

“Any business that generates infectious waste is considered an infectious waste generator and is subject to Ohio’s infectious waste regulations. An infectious waste generator is classified as a large generator when 50 pounds or more of infectious waste are generated in a calendar month.”

“Large waste generators must register with the state: Initial Registration: A large generator must register as an “Infectious Waste Generator” within 30 days after the last day of the month in which 50 pounds or more of infectious wastes were generated.

Large waste generators are required to pay the current registration fee.

Large generators must comply with the same rules as small generators of waste with the additional rules:

Properly packaged sharp infectious wastes and all unused or infected discarded hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, and syringes that are generated by a small quantity generator.

Infectious wastes that have been generated by an individual for his/her own care or treatment.

Infectious wastes that were generated to a patient when providing care by an emergency services organization.

Medical Waste Storage Requirements

Large Quantity generator storage requirements:

“Storage requirements for generators: · Maintain the integrity of the container · Maintain infectious wastes in a non-putrescent state using refrigeration or freezing when necessary · Protect infectious waste from becoming a food source or breeding ground to animals or insects · Outside storage areas must be locked to prevent unauthorized access. · Entrance to unlocked storage areas must be marked with a sign that states “warning: infectious waste” and/or displays the international biohazard symbol or lock the storage area. · Infectious waste that is also a hazardous waste: Any infectious waste or infectious waste mixture that meets the definition of a hazardous waste shall be managed as a hazardous waste. Some vaccines contain thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative, and must be disposed of as a hazardous waste. · Infectious waste that is also a radioactive waste: Any infectious waste that is also radioactive shall be managed in accordance with applicable Ohio Department of Health and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

Small Quantity generator storage requirements:

Medical Waste Transport Requirements

Transportation of infectious waste (hazardous material) is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). 

“Hazardous waste transporters are individuals or entities that move hazardous waste from one site to another by highway, rail, water, or air. This includes transporting hazardous waste from a generator’s site to a facility that can recycle, treat, store, or dispose of the waste. It can also include transporting treated hazardous waste to a site for further treatment or disposal. Transporters are the second link in the “cradle to grave” chain.

There are limited regulations for hazardous waste transporter under Ohio’s hazardous waste regulations. These include: notifying and obtaining a U. S. EPA identification number; accepting only hazardous waste that are listed on a manifest; compliance with the manifest procedures; delivering the hazardous waste to the facility (or alternate) designated on the manifest or the next designated transporter; and, keeping a copy of the signed manifest for three years after the date of acceptance by the transporter.

In the event of a spill hazardous waste during transportation a transporter must take immediate actions necessary to protect human health and the environment. The transporter must also clean up spills as directed by Ohio EPA or by U. S. EPA.”

Source Separation

The State of Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency):

“Segregate and Properly Manage Infectious Wastes · Infectious Sharps: All infectious sharps must be placed in a sharps container. · Untreated liquid or semi-liquid infectious waste: Infectious wastes consisting of blood, blood products, body fluids, and excreta may be disposed of into a sanitary sewer if the disposal is allowed for the wastewater treatment system. · Other infectious wastes: All other categories of infectious waste must be segregated at the point of generation from the rest of the waste stream. At a minimum, infectious wastes shall be placed in separate containers, from other wastes until rendered non-infectious. · Storage requirements for generators: · Maintain the integrity of the container · Maintain infectious wastes in a non-putrescent state using refrigeration or freezing when necessary · Protect infectious waste from becoming a food source or breeding ground to animals or insects ·  Outside storage areas must be locked to prevent unauthorized access. · Entrance to unlocked storage areas must be marked with a sign that states “warning: infectious waste” and/or displays the international biohazard symbol or lock the storage area. · Infectious waste that is also a hazardous waste: Any infectious waste or infectious waste mixture that meets the definition of a hazardous waste shall be managed as a hazardous waste. Some vaccines contain thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative, and must be disposed of as a hazardous waste. · Infectious waste that is also a radioactive waste: Any infectious waste that is also radioactive shall be managed in accordance with applicable Ohio Department of Health and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

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