Procedures For Disposing Of Different Forms Of Medical Waste
If you are not a medical professional and you must regularly dispose of medical waste, it is your responsibility to learn the proper procedures for doing so. Most medical waste cannot simply be disposed of in the garbage, but must instead be placed in special containers. You will also need to understand how some forms of medical waste must be destroyed.
Determine the Type of Waste You Have
When disposing of your own medical waste, you will first need to identify the type of waste that you are disposing of. This will help you determine the type of container for storage and the proper method of disposal. A common medical term for a waste product is a sharp. This includes:
These will all need to be disposed of in a sharps container. This is because these waste products can penetrate the lining found in other containers used to dispose of medical waste.
Other forms of medical waste that you must dispose of can either be contaminated or not contaminated. If they are not contaminated, you can simply dispose of them in the regular trash. Other forms of medical waste, such as pipetes and petri dishes must be disposed of in an airtight container with a biohazard symbol clearly displayed on it. All of the containers must also be labeled to clearly describe what they contain.
The liquid produced from cultures can simply be poured down the drain using running water. Bodily fluids can be disposed of in a similar manner, but must first be diluted 10% by bleach.
Contact the Appropriate Authorities When Working With Hazardous Waste
You are unlikely to be working with biohazardous chemicals or radioactive waste. However, if you do need to dispose of these materials, you should contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. These materials are too dangerous to be disposed of by laymen.
Find a Place to Dispose of Your Sharps
Contact your doctor to determine if he or she is able to dispose of your medical waste after you have properly containerized it for safe disposal. Another location to contact to determine if they will accept your waste is a local hospital. They must already dispose of medical waste and might have a program already in place for patients to provide their medical waste, including sharps.
Various other programs often provide sharp disposal, including:
- Fire departments
- Health departments
While it is best to have medical waste such as sharps disposed of by professionals like those from S.H Bio-Waste LTD, you can dispose of contaminated needles using an at-home needle destruction device. These devices will burn or melt the needles so that they are no longer a risk.
Have the Container Destroyed
Other sharp waste containers need to be incinerated by an appropriate organization, such as a hospital. This can be performed either on-site or off-site. Those who transport medical wastes to an off-site facility usually need to be licensed to transport solid wastes. Regardless of the method required, you will want to make sure you follow the proper procedures and contact a medical waste disposal company if you need assistance.