Classifications and Risks of Medical Waste
The United States of America produce 13 lbs of medical waste. That is per person per year. These hazardous materials are harmful. It can spread disease. It can also impact the water supply and wildlife. As well as your reputation. Proper medical waste disposal helps create a safer environment.
Classifications of medical waste
- Infectious – Blood and fluids excreted by the body belong in this classification. As well as cultures and stocks of infectious agents used for research. Laboratory animal waste is also classified under this. This also includes bandages and disposable equipment from patients in isolation.
- Pathological – These are human tissues and contaminated lab animal carcasses.
- Sharps – Needles and syringes belong here. So do broken glasses and blades.
- Chemicals – Solvents and disinfectants are examples of these. Batteries and heavy metals from medical devices are also included here. Even mercury from thermometers or compact fluorescents.
- Pharmaceuticals – Expired, unused or contaminated medications are under this.
- Genotoxic – Classified here are mutagenic, carcinogenic, and teratogenic substances. Those are substances used in cancer treatment.
- Radioactive – Under this classification are usually diagnostic materials. As well as radiotherapy materials.
- General – All other waste generated in the medical setting. Those that are not a natural hazard falls under this classification.
Risks to staff
The staff has a high possibility of getting in contact with these medical waste. Sharps or infectious materials do not go into standard waste receptacles. They can harm those picking up and transporting the waste. Especially if they think it is a general waste. Medical workers and staff risk of contracting devastating diseases like hepatitis and HIV. As well as ebola, syphilis, and malaria. Some of these can have life-long impacts. There are also some that are fatal.
Risks to community
Transported medical waste usually ends up in landfills. It puts those in the area at risk. It also brings the harmful substances into the air, land, and water. A lot of these substances take hundreds or thousands of years to break down. There is more added waste during this time. The contamination becomes more potent.
Medical waste enters the water supply. It soaks through the soil to enter the groundwater. This groundwater flows into springs, streams, and rivers. Medical waste spreads far and wide. This water will become human drinking water. It puts humans who use water for drinking and food preparation at risk. You should decontaminate it with proper means.
Medical waste disposal you can trust
A regulated waste disposal service is important. The disposal will be easier and seamless. Contact medical waste disposal Vermont. See what they can do to help you manage hazardous waste. This includes the collection and transport of waste. As well as treatment and disposal of waste. Together with monitoring and regulation.