What to do with Biomedical Waste
What is Biomedical Waste?
Biomedical waste is waste that consists of infectious, or potentially infectious, materials. It can be solid or liquid, some examples include; discarded blood, anything sharp, human tissue, bandages and dressings, used gloves or any other medical supplies that could have come into contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva.
Biomedical waste that is common at dental clinics include materials such as; sharps, needles, used anesthetic cartridges, scalpel blades, amalgam and plaster to name a few.
Why is it Important to Dispose of it Properly?
If Biomedical waste is not disposed of properly it can be a threat to the environment, staff members, the public and sanitation workers. Biomedical waste could contain pathogenic agents that may cause disease to humans that are exposed to it.
Discarding Biomedical Waste
Biomedical waste should be collected in leak-proof containers that are strong enough to assure no breakage or damage while transporting it. These containers should be marked with the biohazard symbol. It should be separate from all other waste. Any waste that is sharp is usually collected in specialized boxes (usually yellow) and can often be called needle boxes.
Biomedical Waste Collection
Biomedical waste is an infectious substance and is considered a dangerous good. Therefore, all Transportation for Dangerous Goods regulations must be followed when the waste is being collected, handled and transported off-site by a professional.
Biomedical Waste Management Options
There are two main options when it comes to safely disposing of biomedical waste. Incineration is done at approved facilities and is the preferred method of disposing of the waste. This method burns the waste to destroy the anatomical and non-anatomical waste. The less-preferred option is to dispose of sharps and other solid waste directly into the landfill. Before that happens, the waste must go through a chemical or thermal sterilization process. Often, the landfill owner must pre-approve the disposal of the waste at their site.
Medical Waste Services
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