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Once The Containers are away What Exactly Happens To All Your Organization’s Medical Waste?

Did you ever ask yourself what happens to medical waste once the workers picked it up? Where does this waste go once it is collected? More importantly, what are the risks associated with improper disposal?

Biohazardous waste or medical waste is waste that contains potentially infectious materials. However hospitals and doctors’ offices usually have it. Anywhere that blood, fluids, tissues, or byproducts are present you can find hazardous waste. Tattoo salons, veterinary practices, assisted living facilities, labs, and even funeral shops are the places where you can find them.

In case you are at hospital, or other facility that deals with hazardous waste you can see the containers that collect medical waste. There you can see red bags, sharps containers, and biohazardous receptacles. This waste isn’t taken out with the regular trash at the end of the day. Biohazardous waste is dealt with according to specific laws and regulations to prevent the spread of infection and to protect the environment from contamination.

Incineration and autoclaving are the two primary methods to deal with biohazardous waste once people disposed them in properly-labeled medical waste packaging. The  next step depends on the waste itself when a licensed hauler retrieves the materials.

Incineration

Incineration is essentially the burning of medical waste in a controlled manner and in a dedicated incinerator. Incineration reduces what goes into landfills, the waste is completely sterilized, the volume is reduced, and is kept out of the physical environment.

Autoclaving

The process uses moist heat to sterilize various medical wastes from medical instruments, applicators, and other items that contain microorganisms. Autoclaving is a much different process. During the sterilizing process, steam is continuously entering the autoclave to thoroughly kill all dangerous microorganisms. Autoclaving still has limitations. It does not take care of hazardous materials like chemical waste and pharmaceutical waste.

Other methods of medical waste disposal include mechanical or chemical disinfection, microwave treatments, and irradiation.

Licensed medical waste haulers collect medical waste. As this waste disposal is closely monitored and regulated in most states. Before the specialists recycle or thrown the wastes away, it must be treated and rendered harmless. Our organization takes care of your disposal to mitigate risk, maintain compliance, and keep communities safe. Contact us today!

4 Most Common Medical Waste Disposal Mistakes

Is your office making costly medical disposal mistakes? Medical waste is generated by  all medical and healthcare facilities  such as hospitals, clinics, dental offices, veterinary clinics, laboratories . Federal, state, and even local laws order them to create an operational medical waste management protocol in order  to ensure the safety of its workers and the environment.
There exist several common mistakes that many  facilities make when they  dispose medical waste like bio-hazardous waste, animal waste, radioactive waste and unused pharmaceuticals. Try to be convinced your office isn’t making costly inefficient mistakes.

Disposing Solid Waste As Regulated Medical Waste (RMW)

The most common mistake isconsidered the needlessly disposal n of solid waste as regulated medical waste. Based on federal law, solid waste is only to be disposed of as RMW if the solid waste had come into contact with contaminated materials.
it is a pity, there are many generators who have adopted a laissez-faire approach towards the disposal of both solid waste and regulated medical waste. Besides being dangerous mismanagement, it also proves costly to the healthcare facility, as the  disposal of regulated medical waste costs more than solid waste.

Inconsistent Medical Waste Management Training For Medical Staff

The training of medical staff in waste disposal practices is included in Medical Waste Management typically; however, the consistency of such training, for many medical and healthcare facilities, often peters out.
Fortunately, there exist a lot of  agencies such as the EPA, OSHA, etc., that makes resources available for healthcare facilities to formulate a training program that will ensure the employees’  safety of, as well as decrease the chances of infection and/or contamination.
In addition to this,  there are some reputable medical waste transporters/haulers which  offer assistance in the form of training staff to stay within federal and state regulations.

Failing To Transport Medical Waste According To Federal And State Regulations

In accordance with  merriinc.com, there exist some  healthcare facilities that are not transporting untreated and treated medical waste in a right way. Some common issues include; transporting regulated medical waste in improper containers and utilizing medical waste transports/haulers that do not have a permit to transport medical waste weighing over 50 pounds.
These breaches result in heavy penalties to both the transporter/hauler and the medical or healthcare facility.

Treating And Disposing Of Medical Waste Using Environmentally Dangerous Methods

Treating and disposing of medical waste with the help of usage of the method of incineration has been approved on federal, state, and local levels. However, according to Health Care Without Harm, incinerators contribute significantly to dioxin, mercury, lead and other pollutants that threaten the general populace. Is it possible that this method of treating medical waste is just as harmful as the waste itself?
In order to give  a correct answer to  this question, many companies have processed environmentally friendly technology to be made available to medical waste treatment facilities to ensure that medical waste is not only treated effectively, but that the residue generated does  not have a harmful effect on the environment.
The generators must first of all review individual state and local laws regarding medical waste management practices.  Medical and healthcare facilities can also keep abreast of regulations defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the US Department of Health (DOH), and/or the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding best medical waste disposal practices. As always, Glycon Medical Waste Disposal is here to answer any questions regarding your facilities compliance and medical waste disposal requirements.

3 REASONS WHY BIOMEDICAL WASTE SERVICES ARE NECESSARY

Some people while hearing  the term “bio-medical waste” would  think of the antagonist in that one sci-fi movie you meet and watched because you were bored or couldn’t find the remote. However, most medical waste is no longer  harmfulcompared to  regular waste we produce on a daily basis. Still, the large amounts of bio-medical waste should be taken seriously, and as there are some types of medical waste, which can be harmful and even infectious to humans, bio-medical waste services are necessary. Below you will find a thorough explanation  on why bio-medical waste services are necessary.

BIOMEDICAL WASTE CAN BE HARMFUL TO HUMANS

Biomedical waste may  harmful to population because of its  content. All medical waste, especially waste from hospitals and clinics must  be handled regarding that the waste is or could be infectious to people. Some biomedical waste items having infectious impact  to humans are any items which contain blood, items containing bodily fluid like catheters, gloves, cultures, bandages, gauze, etc.. The waste like this must be  disposed of properly so that unaware humans do not have any contact with them.

BIOMEDICAL WASTE CAN BE HARMFUL TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Biomedical waste  is harmful both  to people and to animals and the overall environment in case if it is not disposed of properly. The quantity of the waste produced by hospitals alone is increasing every day. Considering that 15% to 25% of all medical waste is biomedical, infectious waste, it must not only be  removed from sites properly but it must  also be disposed of properly. If waste is not disposed of properly, it can contaminate the air, water, and even the soil. This may result to infectious rodents and insects that can transmit diseases.

BIO-MEDICAL WASTE DISPOSAL SERVICES ARE REQUIRED BY LAW

Laws on biomedical waste disposal and biomedical waste services are becoming more strict because authorities became to understand the possible dangers associated with biomedical waste, medical waste removal, and medical waste disposal.
We not only appreciate  the safety of our own employee sat Glycon, but we also value our clients’ safety. Glycon offers OSHA certifications at the click of a mouse to help your business/industry learn more about workplace safety when it comes to biomedical waste so that you don’t receive costly penalties.

As we are already aware biomedical waste can be very dangerous and harmful  to humans and the environment, and potentially infectious, however it won’t turn into a green slimy monster that takes over a small suburban town. If you are in charge of a hospital, not very big clinic, veterinarian office, dentist office, or any facility and institution  that produces biomedical waste in the result of  your job duties, Glycon is always here to assist you.

Glycon is licensed and realizes the importance of safety when handling and disposing of medical waste and biomedical waste.

Common vs. Regulated Medical Waste

In fact, there are a few clearly set categories of medical waste while the term “medical waste” concerns to a very broad range of waste materials produced by facilities and businesses in the healthcare industry. These categories have very strict guidelines mandated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) that refer to the proper dumping of medical waste.

If you do not manage to properly follow OSHA guidelines it will not only bring to significant fines, but could also cause serious harm to the health of customers and workers. OSHA has put guidelines in place for a good reason, so it’s important that businesses in industries that produce medical waste know about the different medical waste categories, and the disposal guidelines that concern to them.

Where to Start

Everyone must be familiar with some existing extensive subcategories of medical waste, but first of all, the whole medical waste fits into one of two categories—common medical waste and regulated medical waste. The main difference between these two categories is that regulated medical waste is any waste that contains or has been exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs).

OPIMs most typically refer to human blood or anything that has been infected with it, however can also refer to the materials contaminated with other bodily fluids such as:

  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord)
  • Synovial fluid (fluid surrounding bone joints)
  • Pleural fluid
  • Pericardial fluid
  • Peritoneal fluid
  • Amniotic fluid

Pathogenic microorganisms are also considered OPIMs unlike sweat, tears, saliva (except in dental procedures), urine, feces, and vomit which are not.

This differentiation is critical because the materials are possibly infectious and harmful to human health. OSHA guidelines regulating the disposal of medical waste generally concerns to OPIMs containing waste, and are therefore mostly concerned with regulated medical waste.

Nearly all biological waste may contain OPIMs, but much medical waste does not actually match this criterion. Indeed, a great deal of the medical waste generated is considered common medical waste. Common medical waste can include any materials containing sweat, urine, feces, or saliva, because these are not considered to be OPIMs. Only several examples of common medical waste include, but are not limited to:

  • Empty IV bags
  • Empty stool or urine containers
  • Foley/catheter bags
  • Bedpans
  • Exam gloves
  • Unused medical products and supplies (excluding unused sharps).

Thus, as you are already a little aware of the differentiation between these two categories, get ready to get acquainted with regulated medical waste, its subcategories, and how they are defined.

Regulated Medical Waste

The term “medical waste” is clearly defined OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard — which is the central regulated medical waste disposal guideline — defines regulated medical waste as, “liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM); infected items that would release blood or OPIM in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed; items that are caked with dried blood or OPIM and are capable of releasing these materials during handling; contaminated sharps; and pathological and microbiological wastes containing blood or OPIM.”

As this definition is not limited, however, state legislation often defines regulated medical waste and handling guidelines further. The definition of medical waste of each state and guidelines differ a little, so before acting be sure to check with your local.

Commonly, six different subcategories of medical waste are defined by states. These categories are mentioned below:

 Pathological / Anatomical Waste

  • All human and animal wastes that are detectable as body tissues, organs, or body parts are called Anatomical waste, while pathological wastes are human tissue samples collected for getting to understand better a patient’s disease or ailments.

Cultures and Stocks of Infectious Agents

  • The specimens from medical and pathology laboratories, culture dishes, and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix that are included in them, and they seem to contain organisms that may be pathogenic to healthy humans. Discarded live and attenuated vaccines are also included in this category

Contaminated Sharps

  • These items are the ones which may bring subdermal inoculation of infectious agents or that can easily penetrate the skin, damage waste bags and cardboard boxes such as hypodermic needles, syringes, Pasteur pipettes, capillary tubes, razor blades, scalpel blades, and broken glass from the laboratory.
  • A special handling and packaging under both OSHA and DOT s required for sharps. Turn to your state’s guidelines when identifying what items are classified as sharps.

Isolation Waste

  • Waste isolation is any biological or contaminated waste caused by isolated or quarantined humans and animals to protect others from highly communicable diseases.

Contaminated Animal Parts and Bedding

  • Any animal carcasses, body parts, bedding and related wastes that may have been exposed to infectious agents during research, production of biologicals, or testing of pharmaceuticals are considered to be contaminated and must be properly disposed of.

As you notice, there are many materials that could be called regulated medical waste. Teaching and research labs should take particular caution, as the guidelines don’t often directly point to these types of medical waste producing entities, but have an equal opportunity to cause harm to employees and others through the improper handling of such waste.

Protect Your Business and Employees with Compliant Medical Waste Disposal Services

It is your obligation to dispose of this waste as a medical waste producer. If you do not manage to do so can cause severe damage to innocent people and cost you your business.

Glycon Medical Waste knows that this process is complicated and full of opportunities to make mistakes, because of this we’ve developed tried-and-true compliant methods to handle your medical waste with ease. We offer a number of medical waste services across a variety of industries and are fully equipped to meet your requirements concerning to  medical waste.

To learn more about our medical waste services, request a free quote by filling out the form to the right or give us a call at (844) 494-8222

7 Facts Everyone Should Know About The Medical Waste Industry

Dumping medical waste can be to a great degree exacting as the regulators and the laws they design continue changing randomly keeping even the most experienced veterans out of the circle. A very rough explanation of medical waste is any waste material that has made contact with the body’s fluids. These materials are biological dangers and must be removed. Medical waste must be handled by authorized and licensed agencies. The following 7 facts everyone should know about the ever-changing face of medical waste industry.

They are more expensive than regular waste.

Removed medical waste may cost more than 6 times the cost of handling regular waste. The cost may differ taking into account what type the medical waste is. Handling diseased syringes is completely different than trace chemotherapy.

Dangers of improper waste disposal

A very convenient method of treating dangerous medical waste is to have it burnt. The tissues used to treat sick patients are the leaders in the list of dangerous items– the contagious, deadly viruses they house deep inside can become airborne on contact with the outside air.

Some agencies do not bear responsibility towards the environment and simply dispose their waste along with their obligations into the sea – only for the deadly pathogens to infect fresh air and for infected syringes to wash up ashore.

Medical waste handlers need proper training

Besides the legal suggestions of getting listless with medical waste (getting involved in costly law suits), there are life threatening concerns posed to all agencies involved in medical waste violation. It is important to ensure that medical waste handlers pass proper OSHA training.

Most facilities only have as long as 30 days to store biowaste

Though every state can have its own laws, the general ruling is to not store medical waste for more than 30 days in your containers. If you do not abide this rule it could bring   your firm getting charged with costly fines, let alone putting your reputation on the line.

Identifying the types of medical waste

Your workers need to become experts at the fine art of identifying different kinds of medical waste after acquiring knowledge from appropriate courses and certifications. It is a pity as blood stained tissues and cotton to end up in regular trash; following which the chemical breakup from prolonged exposure to the sun causes the trapped viruses to become airborne.

Medical waste transportation – a separate issue

Studying the regulations related to medical waste transportation is a totally different ball game, making you take permission from your state regulator. Training employees to handle the transportation side of things is both expensive and laborious.

Even common homes may bring about medical waste

The above mentioned is true, but it can’t be compared with the amount of waste the hospital facility does. All those bandages you use to wipe the blood, puss and other fluids are considered to be medical waste. This also includes any self-administered syringes and at-home tests such those used for testing blood sugar levels.

Glycon Medical Waste makes easy waste management for the Healthcare Industry through offering Medical Waste Disposal, Pathological Waste Disposal, Medical Waste Pickup Services and Recycling needs. Glycon Medical Waste offers full service waste management specifically designed to deliver to the California Healthcare Industry.