Views: 1 Author: Mr Eric Publish Time: 2017-09-26 Origin: Site
Medical waste is solid waste created by diagnosing, treating or immunizing people or animals. It can also be the product of the research and testing of biological products. This term is defined specifically by the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988.
Two million tons of medical waste are produced each year. Most of it comes from hospitals, but other sources include doctor’s offices, dental practices, research facilities, laboratories and veterinarian offices. Companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals also produce high amounts of this waste.
Medical wastes are typically divided into one of four categories: infectious, radioactive, hazardous and general waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that approximately 15 percent of waste is infectious. Infectious waste is that which can cause harm to people or the environment, and this category includes items such as bandages, surgical gloves, surgical instruments, needles and microbial dishes, cultures and cloths. Other types include waste found in household garbage cans, such as paper or plastic.
Infectious waste must be managed and contained to avoid spreading infection, toxins and pollutants. If these materials penetrate the body, they can lead to serious diseases. The containment and safe transportation of biomedical waste is required for healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical companies, veterinary practices and other such environments.
Medical waste should be stored in airtight containers placed in cool, dark places such as a refrigerator. The lid on the container should be leak-proof and unable to be punctured, and the container should be labeled appropriately and indicated to be a biohazard material. Disinfectants should be placed in close proximity to the waste in case a spill occurs. Anything that comes in contact with this waste should be considered medical waste and treated the same.
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