Medical waste is waste material generated in physician offices, emergency clinics, dentists, funeral homes, veterinary clinics, long term care facilities, tattoo parlors and laboratories. According to the EPA: generally, medical waste is healthcare waste that may be contaminated by blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials and is often referred to as regulated medical waste.
If medical wastes are not properly managed and disposed of it may pose as a potential risk and hazard to humans, including health care workers, patients, pets and medical waste workers. Medical waste disposal is both a delicate and complex task, but it is essential to your business’s good name and success.
OSHA defines Regulated Waste as liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials; contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed; items that are caked with dried blood or other potentially infectious materials and are capable of releasing these materials during handling; contaminated sharps; and pathological and microbiological wastes containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.
The State of North Carolina defines medical waste as: any solid waste which is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals, but does not include any hazardous waste identified or listed pursuant to this Article, radioactive waste, household waste as defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations 261.4(b)(1) in effect on 1 July 1989, or those substances excluded from the definition of solid waste in this section. (NCGS 130A-290(a)(17a)) For more info click here.
Congress enacted the Medical Waste Tracking Act (MWTA) of 1988. Specifically, this act, which amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act, did the following:
- Defined medical waste and established which medical wastes would be subject to program regulations.
- Established a tracking system utilizing a generator initiated tracking form.
- Required management standards for segregation, packaging, labeling and marking, and storage of the medical waste.
- Established record keeping requirements and penalties that could be imposed for mismanagement.
It is important to understand that to remain compliant your business must comply with the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Transport (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as North Carolina and local agencies.
Go Green Solutions, LLC is committed to providing a safe, low cost way to properly transport and dispose of medical waste. We offer “cradle to grave” tracking and compliance training, so that you can be at ease that your business is compliant.