Hazardous Medical Waste Disposal Guidelines

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have set forth a list of requirements that medical personnel must follow when disposing of medical waste and unused medications. A series of containers and the acquisition of services through a medical disposal company will aid with keeping a medical practice compliant.

Continuous Disposal Strategies

Bodily fluids, chemical agents, used cloth dressings, and sharp tools that are present within a medical setting can carry pathogens that are harmful to those who frequent a medical practice. The EPA has outlined some disposal methods that will keep examination rooms and other common areas sanitary. These methods must be followed on a continuous basis.

As soon as a wound dressing is changed or a chemical agent is applied within an area where people congregate, spent materials should be disposed of. Waste bins that are classified for biohazardous waste purposes include rolling carts with lids, lined boxes, and puncture resistant containers.

The type of waste that is being disposed of will influence what type of biohazard waste receptacle should be used. For example, used scalpels, splints, and other sharp materials that are disposable should always be placed inside of a puncture-resistant container that is clearly labeled. Waste receptacles that are designed to hold biohazards are furnished through a medical disposal company that provides transport services.

Medication Concerns

Medications will eventually expire. Some medications that are ordered through a medical practice may not be needed. If a practitioner orders medicine samples and other medicinal products that will not be administered to patients, they will need to use disposal methods that have been outlined through the DEA.

Medications are often classified as hazardous waste. For this reason, any type of prescribed medication should be picked up by a medical disposal company. A company may outline how medications should be packaged and labeled. Medications should be kept separate from biohazardous waste that will be picked up by a disposal company. By removing expired and unnecessary medications from the premises, the chance that a product will be accidentally administered to a patient will be avoided.

A full listing of the medication types that should be disposed through a medical waste facility will be furnished upon a customer's request. Products that do not contain chemical agents may not be deemed as hazardous. These products can be thrown away with other trash that is being disposed of at a medical practice. A company like Metro Detroit Medical Waste has more information.