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Medical Waste, Hazardous Waste and Pharmaceutical Waste

Not All Wastes Are Created Equal. Know The Differences Between Medical, Hazardous, And Pharmaceutical Wastes.

The U.S. is responsible for producing a hopping 220 million tons of waste a year.  Because of this, both the government and environmental associations have developed numerous methods of dealing with the problem through waste management.  Waste management is a rather complex issue that encompasses several industries, and the type of waste determines how and when it should be disposed of, and in what manner. Here are the key differences.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is a rather broad category, but is defined as any type of waste that poses either a substantial or potential threat to public health and the environment.  This includes explosive waste, flammable liquids and solids, waste that is poisonous and toxic, and of course, waste that is infectious.

Once a material is deemed no longer useful and is ready for disposal, it is necessary to consider whether it can be safely and legally put in a dumpster for land filling, poured down the drain, or set aside as a hazardous waste for special disposal.  You should always refer to local and federal laws to see how to dispose of hazardous waste.

Medical Waste

Technically speaking, medical waste is hazardous waste.  There are many terms used to identify medical waste, including infectious waste, biological waste, medical waste, hospital waste, medical hazardous waste, microbiological waste, pathological waste, and red bag waste.  Medical waste comes in several forms, including solid and liquid.  Solid waste includes culture media, personal protective equipment that has been contaminated, and other materials, like sharps, pipette tips, glassware and more.  Liquid waste includes blood, blood products, and bodily fluids.  The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate biohazardous waste management under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary authority for regulating workplace standards and employee health and safety.

Pharmaceutical Waste

Like medical waste, pharmaceutical waste can also be considered hazardous waste.  Unused pharmaceuticals are a hazard for abuse and are a threat to the environment if disposed of improperly.  Reliable and concrete statistics are hard to come by, but it’s a safe assumption that we, as consumers, are responsible for a hefty percentage of the pharmaceutical and personal care products that wind up in lakes, rivers, and streams.  In a typical U.S. household, the medicine cabinet is full of unused and expired drugs, only a fraction of which get disposed of appropriately.

While the FDA has and still recommends flushing certain medications, the best course of action is to research a take-back program. Law enforcement, public health, and environmental professionals feel that these programs are the safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines to protect your family and to protect our waters.

Knowing and understanding the different types of waste will help mitigate environmental risks as well as keep you in compliance.  Don’t takes guesses about the waste you produce. Know where to find the resources and technical assistance to help health care facilities comply with the law and protect the environment.

The problem of treatment of medical waste pollution in the US.

Your home now produces medical waste that cannot go into the regular trash. it’s a more convenient option to manage care from home.

It’s a more convenient option to manage care from home. From diabetes to renal failure that requires dialysis treatment home medical care is an important aspect of managing a variety of diseases. It means your home now produces medical waste that cannot go into the regular trash.

It can be risky if you don’t dispose some items such as syringes, soiled bandages, used dialysis filters, needles, lancets, disposable sheets/clothing properly and safely.  Even old medication can seriously harm family, friends, and sanitation workers.

The primary type of at-home medical waste consists of sharps. Hypodermic needles, lancets, IV tubing with needles, glass tubes, and syringes no longer in their original containers are all considered sharps.

Medical sharps can poke through garbage bags causing injury to sanitation workers and others if you improperly throw them into household garbage. Children and pets may come in contact with the household garbage. Used needles can transmit serious diseases.

Managing Medical Waste At Home

Place needles, syringes, lancets and other contaminated sharps in any puncture-resistant and disposable household container. Medical waste management at home isn’t so difficult. However it still requires precision and care. Containers should be made of plastic or metal and have a small opening so no one can stick their hands into it.

An empty bleach bottle, laundry detergent bottle, or metal coffee cans can also be there.

At home, depending on your state, you can treat your own medical waste by filling the container with one part bleach solution and ten parts of water and allow the solution to soak for 20 minutes to sterilize your sharps. This solution can be poured into the sink, but then you must seal the cap with heavy-duty tape before placing the disposal container into the garbage. Not all municipalities may allow this, however. Many states have collection sites for sharps disposal.

Before you place soiled bandages, dialysis machine filters, disposable sheets, clothing, and medical gloves in the regular trash dispose of separately in securely fastened plastic bags.

Home medical care means making life as easy and convenient as possible for you and your home health aids. We know it well. Our company has safe and effective methods of medical waste disposal so you can do nothing but leave the medical waste worry to us. Don’t treat medical waste yourself, or if you’re unsure about collection sites.

No job is too big or too small for us.

Contact us today to discuss an option plan that works for you! (844) 494-8222

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.