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Medical Waste Photo by: The subset of medical waste that potentially could transmit an infectious disease is termed infectious waste. Medical wastes can also include chemicals and other hazardous materials used in patient diagnosis and treatment. In some cases this subset of medical waste is classified as hazardous waste.
Hospitals, clinics, research facilities, diagnostic labs, and other facilities produce medical waste. The bulk of the wastes generated by most health care facilities, however, is municipal solid waste MSWor trash.
MSW includes large quantities of paper, cardboard and Medical waste, metals, glass, food waste, and wood. Medical waste, though Medical waste smaller portion of the total health care waste stream, is of special concern because of the potential hazards from pathogens that may be present, or from hazardous chemicals.
Risk and Health Care Waste In the late s there were a series of syringe wash ups on beaches along the East Coast of the United States, which were mistakenly attributed to health care facilities.
Few states adopted its stringent guidelines. The MWTA expired in the early s, making each state responsible for establishing its own classification and management guidelines for medical waste.
There are very few documented cases of disease transmission from contact with medical waste. The notable exception is needle stick, or "sharps" injuries. Paralleling the concern over beach wash ups of medical waste, was a growing awareness of the increase in HIV-AIDS and other cases of infectious diseases being diagnosed and treated in health care settings.
This, along with a series of events, led to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHAwhich established rules designed to protect health care workers OSHA blood-borne pathogen standards and universal precautions by stipulating the need for such personnel to wear protective clothing and equipment, and to take special precautions when handling or disposing of sharps.
The interpretation of rules surrounding worker safety regulations led to some confusion over waste classification, thus causing a greater amount of wastes to be considered as potentially infectious.
For example, under the OSHA universal precautions guidelines, a worker handling a bandage with a single drop of blood on it should wear gloves, but the waste itself would most likely not be classified as infectious.
Noting that there are multiple risks inherent in medical waste including toxic chemicals and radioactive materials, the WHO has chosen to use the term health care risk waste instead of medical waste.
Three syringes found on a beach in New London, Connecticut. Regulation Many regulations govern the labeling, handling, treatment, transport, storage, and disposal of medical waste, including: Department of Transportation DOT rules for the packaging and transportation of wastes; OSHA guidelines for worker safety, waste labeling and handling; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act RCRAwhich governs the management of hazardous materials and wastes, including hazardous pharmaceutical wastes; Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC radioactive waste management practices, Drug Enforcement Agency DEA regulations for handling and disposing of controlled substances such as narcotics; the Clean Air Act, which regulates emissions from incinerators; the Clean Water Act, which defines what may be disposed of down the drain; state environmental and health rules that define certain types of waste and determine the specifics of waste treatment, as well as requirements for storage, labeling, handling, and segregation.
Most other countries have similar multitiered regulatory regimes, such as Australia, where a national standard defines clinical waste what is termed medical waste in the United States.
However, the particulars of regulation are left to the discretion of individual Australian states. Proper Management, Treatment, and Disposal There is general consensus among professional health care organizations, the waste management industry, and regulators that proper management starts with the identification of wastes requiring special handling and treatment Medical Waste because of their hazardous nature biological, chemical, or radioactive.
Waste identification is necessary for proper segregation, so that only those wastes needing special treatment and handling are treated. Proper management of all waste streams enhances worker safety, protects the environment, and can reduce costs.
Wastes that are deemed potentially infectious may be treated prior to disposal by a number of different technologies that either disinfect or sterilize them.
These technologies include incineration, steam sterilization, dry heat thermal treatment, chemical disinfection, irradiation, and enzymatic biological processes among others.
In there were more than one hundred specific technologies in use. In order for treatment systems to work properly, distinctive protocols for the classification and segregation of wastes must be in place.
Most treatment technologies for infectious wastes cannot process chemical or radioactive waste. Misclassification and inappropriate treatment of infectious wastes can result in significant harm to the environment and human health; for example, residual chemotherapeutic agents are should not be treated in autoclaves, but rather should be set aside and treated by either incineration hazardous waste incinerators or chemically neutralized where feasible.A sterilizing autoclave for the medical industry treating biohazardous waste.
We design, engineer and manufacture autoclaves for medical waste treatment. Medassure Services is a leading Medical Waste Disposal Company offering a full range of solutions across the US. Contact us to get a free quote or to schedule a pick up. Operating in Victoria and Southern NSW, Aces Medical Waste is a family owned and operated business specialising in quality clinical waste disposal services.
Created in November by Rod Huybens, we have years of experience in the industry and have recently extended our services to clients all over Victoria and New South Wales.
Nationwide provider of medical waste disposal management for healthcare professionals. Sharps Compliance offers affordable rates and flexible services including both pickup and mailback services for medical and pharmaceutical regulated waste. Call today at () As the leader in the collection, treatment and disposal of Medical waste (Biohazardous Waste), SteriHealth help ensure maximum infection control throughout the entire process..
We supply empty receptacles & containers, collect when full, transport to our facilities and then use state of the art alternate treatment methods plus incineration to dispose of the waste accordingly.
Welcome To Medical Waste Services. Medical Waste Services is proud to transport and treat bio-hazard waste in the great states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Mississippi.