How To Dispose of Biohazard Waste the Definitive Guide. Anyone working in the healthcare industry knows that it comes with its own unique set of challenges. Your day-to-day is probably nothing like what you thought it would be when you signed up for your first job in this field. While it’s exciting and dynamic, there are also some very serious risks involved with the work that you do every day.
Biohazard waste, also known as biohazardous medical waste or simply medical waste, is a type of waste that poses a potential danger to humans if not handled properly. In general, biohazard waste refers to any solid or liquid material that can potentially spread infectious diseases when not handled correctly.
The different types of biohazard waste include blood, bodily fluids such as urine and other excretions, bandages and other dressing materials soaked in blood, syringes and lancets, laboratory cultures, clothing saturated with blood or bodily fluids, used needles and scalpel blades, contaminated animal carcasses (including those from research laboratories), discarded medical equipment soaked with blood or bodily fluids, human anatomical specimens such as biopsies, organs removed during surgery, or autopsies.
Medical waste management is critical to ensure the health and safety of all employees, including those who work in healthcare facilities and those who work in offices that deal with medical records and documentation. The main reason why it’s so important is because it contains pathogens that can cause infections and diseases. Medical waste is often contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, and pathogens (disease-causing agents). The bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens found in medical waste can be harmful to both humans, animals, and the environment. If you don’t follow proper biohazard waste management protocol, you could put yourself and others at risk of contracting an infectious disease or even endangering their lives. In the U.S., there are numerous laws and regulations in place that govern the handling of biohazard or medical waste. Violation of these laws can lead to hefty fines in the thousands of dollars. The bottom line is that being careless when dealing with biohazard waste can result in dire consequences.
In the 1980s some east coast beaches started seeing medical waste wash up on shore. This prompted congress to enact the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988. It was a two-year program that empowered the MWTA and the Federal U.S. EPA office associated program to focus attention on the medical waste issue and provided a model for some states and other federal agencies in developing their own medical waste programs. Healthcare workers are at risk of encountering infectious diseases if proper biohazard waste handling, storage, and disposal is not followed. The most common diseases associated with medical waste are Hepatitis B, C, and HIV/AIDS. These infectious materials can get into the ground water and affect animals and the environment around you. When you handle biohazard waste in the proper way, it’s easier to contain the pathogens present in the waste. This helps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by keeping the pathogens in the waste in a confined space where they can’t infect others.
Biohazard waste can be disposed of in several ways. Most of the time, medical waste disposal companies will pick up biohazard waste from your location and transport it to a special waste disposal facility. There are three main ways to dispose of biohazard waste, the most common is autoclaving, followed by incineration (some biohazard waste must be incinerated). There are other forms including microwaving and chemical disinfection. Autoclaving is a process that uses high pressure and steam to sterilize infectious waste. Incineration is when Biohazard waste is put into a giant furnace, where it is burned at very high temperatures, killing all living organisms. The ashes generated from incineration are toxic and must be disposed of properly.
There are plenty of companies out there that offer biohazard waste disposal services. This can make it overwhelming to pick a company to handle your medical waste disposal. Here are a few things to consider when picking a medical waste disposal company: – Reputation – Do they have a good reputation? Local – Is the company you hire the company that will be picking up your waste? This may sound ridiculous, but it is not always the case, sometimes you contract with one company only to find out another company is picking up your waste. It’s easier to communicate with the company that is actually picking up your waste. – Insurance – Does the company have proper insurance? What is their coverage? – Price – Price is important, but it’s not the only thing you should be looking at. Make sure you get the service you’re paying for. – Service – Does the company offer the service you need? Do they directly hire and train the employees that come into your facility? Do they own a fleet a vehicles to service your waste or just one or two? Do they have their own treatment plant to treat your medical waste? Finding a company that can handle your biohazard waste from start to finish, meaning their direct employees, their vehicles, and their processing plant often can provide you with the best service, the best prices, and the least headaches.
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