Biohazardous waste is a type of medical waste that contains harmful agents. It is produced by hospitals, laboratories and factories that supply medical equipment. The main types of biohazardous waste include:
- solid waste
- liquid waste
- pathological waste
- microbiological waste
- sharp waste
Here’s a detailed look at each type, along with the best ways to dispose of the waste:
Solid Biohazardous Waste
This subcategory consists of materials that are solid, but not sharp or easily breakable. Some examples are pipettes, Petri dishes and various types of containers. In most instances, solid biohazardous waste is contaminated with “biological material” from a human. Solid, non-sharp wastes can be contaminated with body fluids, blood, and other materials during a traumatic biohazardous cleanup.
How to dispose of it: You can dispose of solid waste by putting it into a container that is lined with an autoclave bag. This container should also be distinctly marked to signify that it contains biohazardous material. It can be decontaminated on-site and disposed of with regular waste to a designated landfill or handed off to a waste disposal company to manage.
Liquid Biohazardous Waste
Liquid waste is probably the most difficult kind of a biohazardous waste to manage and dispose of. This includes blood and other bodily fluids, all of which can transmit dangerous pathogens. In the case of a spill, the entire space where the spillage takes place can become contaminated. To avoid that high-risk situation, make sure to dispose of liquid waste correctly.
How to dispose of it: If the liquid is less than 25 milliliters in quantity, it can be disposed of as solid waste. However, anything above that has to be sealed in leak-proof containers and labelled visibly as liquid biohazardous waste. Similar to solid waste, it can be treated on-site prior to disposing of or picked up by a waste management company.
Pathological Biohazardous Waste
Pathological biohazardous waste comprises human or animal derived body parts, organs, and tissues. It may also include tissues removed during biopsies and organs or body parts that have been autopsied. These are prone to becoming exposed to bacteria as well. The chances of pathological waste from deceased humans/animals becoming toxic is even higher compared to that from a living being.
How to dispose of it: Double bag the waste and place it in a sealed container. This kind of waste cannot be autoclaved and has to be chemically treated or incinerated properly by appropriate personnel. You can handle this process on-site if you have the required facility, and if not, you can get in touch with a professional to do it for you.
Microbiological Biohazardous Waste
This kind of waste is usually a by-product of laboratories. It includes cultures created for testing or research purposes. Microbiological waste can be very hazardous since it also includes specimens of viruses and other infectious microorganisms. Furthermore, reactive chemical agents can be combined with these specimens to create cultures that can wreak havoc if they come in contact with the skin.
How to dispose of it: Designate it as solid, liquid or pathological waste and then treat it accordingly. If you’re dealing with easily breakable or sharp items, place them in a separate container designated to that type of waste. Read on to discover how sharp biohazardous waste can be disposed of correctly.
Sharp Biohazardous Waste
Any medical items that can puncture skin or other materials such as plastic bags are categorized as “sharps.” They include, but are not limited to, scalpels, needles, blades and glass items such as Petri dishes, vials and microscope slides. Glass items are categorized as sharps because they can easily break, and their sharp shards can cause harm.
How to dispose of it: The steps are similar to the disposal of solid biohazardous waste. However, the containers for sharp items are designed differently. These containers are sturdy enough to prevent leaks and punctures from the items sealed inside them. Once collected, qualified personnel can discard them properly, or your waste management company can do it for you.
Disposing of any kind of medical waste improperly can lead to massive repercussions to anyone exposed to it as well as the environment. Plus, your organization may suffer damage to their reputation if proper care is not used.
If it is easy for you to treat and dispose of biohazardous waste at your own facility, then great! If not, get in touch with the pros. With a team of experienced and certified professionals, The Disaster Company’s Utah cleanup specialists can help you dispose of your biohazardous waste safely, efficiently and at an affordable price.