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What Is Bio-Hazardous Waste?
Biohazardous waste is any biological waste that is potentially hazardous to human or animal health, such as
• human blood and its components, in liquid or semi-liquid form, whether or not dried • human body fluids (including semen, vaginal secretions, cerebral spinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid and saliva), in liquid or semi-liquid form, dried or not
• Human pathological waste: all tissues, organs and parts of the human body
• animal remains: all animal carcasses and body parts
• Microbiological waste: laboratory by-products containing infectious agents (including discarded specimen cultures, stocks of etiological agents, discarded live and attenuated viruses, waste from the production of biologicals and sera, disposable culture dishes and equipment used for transfer , inoculation and culture mixing)
• Sharps: medical sharps such as scalpels, needles, glass slides, lancets, glass pipettes, broken glass that have been contaminated with potentially infectious material.
To help laboratories and healthcare operators navigate through the stringent hazardous waste disposal legislation, the Department of Health has created the following classification:
They are non-clinical waste that is not infectious and does not contain pharmaceutical or chemical substances, but can be unpleasant for anyone who comes into contact with it.
You should separate offensive healthcare waste from clinical and mixed municipal waste.
If you have produced more than 7kg of offensive municipal by-products, or have more than one bag in a collection period, you must separate it from any mixed municipal waste.
If you have produced less, you can dispose of your offending municipal waste in mixed municipal waste (‘black bag’).
Plaster and similar waste
Most plaster byproducts are non-infectious. It should be stored separately from any plaster waste that is infectious, which should be placed in the bagged clinical infectious waste stream.
A drug is considered to be cytotoxic or cytostatic for classification purposes if it is any of the following:
• acute toxic
• toxic for reproduction
Sharps and similar by-products
The safe management and disposal of sharps is vital to ensure that the risks associated with handling sharps are eliminated and to ensure compliance with the Hazardous Waste Regulations (Scotland Special Waste Regulations).
Disposal of sharps is defined by medicinal contamination. To ensure compliance with Hazardous Waste Regulations, it is essential to correctly separate and store sharps in color-coded bins and separate containers.
• Orange bins—For storing and disposing of sharps that do not contain or are contaminated with medicine, such as sharps used for blood sampling and acupuncture
• Yellow bins – For storing and disposing of sharps contaminated with or containing drugs or anesthetics
• Purple bins – For disposal of sharps and drugs with cytotoxic or cytostatic content or contamination
• Blue bins – For the disposal of obsolete drugs, boxes used to denature drugs and discarded items from use in the handling of pharmaceutical products such as bottles or boxes with waste, gloves, masks, connecting tubes, syringe bodies and drug vials Anatomical remains.
Anatomical waste from operating theaters requires special handling and must be stored, transported and disposed of as hazardous waste to ensure that there is no risk to human health or the environment.
Anatomical remains include:
• Body parts
• Blood bags and blood cans
Laboratory chemicals and photochemicals
Hazardous chemical waste – includes:
• Waste classified as ‘hazardous’ in the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 as amended in 2016 (Tables 1 and 2) or in the European Waste Catalog (EWC) ‘Waste List’.
• Other waste exhibiting one or more of the hazardous properties (HP1 to HP15) listed in the Regulations (see Environment Agency Guide WM3).
Any medical equipment or other equipment (such as gloves, towels, bandages and used clothing, tubes) that have come into contact with hazardous materials and therefore exhibit more than trace elements of these materials, are also classified as hazardous waste.
The Environmental Protection Act includes a ‘Duty of Care’ which requires all persons involved in the treatment of waste, including producers, to take reasonable and appropriate measures to ensure that:
• Waste is kept, treated, deposited or disposed of only in accordance with the waste management license or other authorization;
• Waste does not escape the holder’s control;
• Waste is transferred only to authorized persons such as registered waste transporters or licensed disposal operations permitted to accept that type of waste;
• All transfers/movements of waste are accompanied by an adequate written description of the waste, which will allow the waste to be identified and then treated correctly.
All Waste Matters provide specialist laboratory waste disposal services to a wide customer base across the UK, from commercial laboratories to schools, colleges and universities.
From our fully licensed waste management facility site in Kent, we can provide a tailored service for the disposal and collection of any unwanted chemical and laboratory waste.
We collect with our own vehicles and our licensed laboratory waste disposal facility is regularly inspected by the Environment Agency.
This is essential to provide our customers with complete peace of mind and to ensure that laboratory waste is handled respecting and exceeding all recommended guidelines.
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