Health care providers are faced with the very challenging task of biohazard waste disposal on a regular basis. It is extremely critical that it be efficiently managed to effectively prevent the transmission of disease and pollution which causes a great deal of concern and impending complications.
Medical and biohazard wastes are by-products of medical research, diagnostics, and treatments or other activities pertaining to health care that have possibly been contaminated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) categorized the more common medical wastes as:
- Sharps – anything that may pierce the skin
Example: needle, lancet, scalpels, broken glass
- Infectious Wastes – materials that are contaminated and potentially virulent
Example: medical supplies or equipment contaminated by human or animal tissues or fluids
- Radioactive – products contaminated with radionuclide including radioactive diagnostic or radiotherapeutic materials
- Pathological – tissues or fluids extracted from human or animal bodies
Example: blood, secretions, body parts, animal carcasses
- Pharmaceuticals – oral or intravenous/muscular medications and vaccines that were unused, expired or contaminated
- Chemical – solutions, solvents or disinfectants used or derived from laboratory procedures; batteries or heavy metals from medical and surgical equipment
- Genotoxic Waste – considered the most hazardous of all medical wastes; researches have shown them to cause cancer, congenital abnormalities or alterations in generations or heterogenesis
- General Non-Regulated Medical Waste or Non-Hazardous Waste – no physical, chemical, biological or radioactive negative effects have been attributed to them
Health Risks of Medical Waste
Medical wastes, when insufficiently handled, can transfer detrimental bacteria or viruses which transmit the infection to health facility patients, health professionals and the public in general. Also, drug-resistant microorganisms and air or water pollution which may be disseminated from medical facilities to the environment.
Inadequate medical and biohazard waste disposal can also result in the following:
- sharps-inflicted wounds
- toxicity from infectious, pharmacological or radioactive substances
- air and water pollution
- chemical or radioactive burns
Proper Handling of Medical and Biohazard Waste
Prevent the risks of medical and biohazard waste by complying with the following:
- Healthcare Waste Laws – it is crucial for health care providers to be knowledgeable and abide by all the guidelines set by government agencies on handling hazardous waste
- Classification of medical wastes – wastes should be identified and classified prior to disposal
- Segregation of medical waste by categories – categorize and segregate waste into their respective containers
- Specified use of waste containers – use only the correct and specialized container for every waste category
- Correct sealing and storage of waste containers – practice the appropriate way of storing and shipping waste containers to avoid contamination of other objects
- Documentation and labeling of the containers – tags and markings on the containers counter unnecessary mistakes
- Enlist the services of a dependable and reliable waste disposal company – Daniels Health Rhode Island medical waste disposal will take care of your biohazard wastes efficiently and in accordance with laws and regulations. You can be secure in the fact that your medical wastes are strictly and safely handled and disposed posing no risk to lives or the environment.