Regulated Medical Waste – Regulated medical waste is waste that contains human blood or other potentially infectious materials. Here’s everything you should know.
Regulated medical waste (RMW) is waste that contains human blood or other potentially infectious materials. It covers a range of materials – such as:
- Pathological waste: tissues, organs, body parts, and body fluids.
- Blood: blood, serum, plasma and blood products.
- Cultures of infectious agents: specimens from medical and pathology laboratories.
- Contaminated sharps: contaminated hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpel blades.
- Isolation waste: waste from hospitalized patients who have been isolated to protect others from communicable disease.
- Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts and bedding: animals exposed to pathogens for research,and testing purposes.
This type of medical waste is much more dangerous than non-hazardous waste and every state has different rules for what can be thrown away as regulated medical waste.
The most common bloodborne pathogens found in regulated medical waste include:
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
These pathogens can be spread through contact with infected blood or other bodily fluids.
Because this type of waste is regulated by state and local governments, there can be different rules for what can be thrown away as RMW and the rules can vary depending on the type of facility, the type of waste generated, and how it’s transported.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to ensure regulated medical waste doesn’t pose a threat to public health.
OSHA also has its rules on how regulated medical waste should be disposed of. This includes using leak-proof containers and properly labeled/color-coded receptacles so anyone can identify the contents and handle them appropriately.
Ensuring your workplace and staff are aware of the proper handling and disposal of medical waste is a key step in protecting everyone.
If your facility creates any type of RMW at all—even a single item—then it’s considered a “RMW generator.” That means you’ll need to follow specific rules for handling this type of material. We can help. Contact MedXwaste today!
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