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4 Most Common Medical Waste Disposal Mistakes

Is your office making costly medical disposal mistakes?
Hospitals, clinics, dental offices, veterinary clinics, laboratories are all medical and healthcare facilities that generate medical waste. They are required by federal, state, and even local laws, to create an operational medical waste management protocol to ensure the safety of its workers and the environment.

There are a few common mistakes that a lot of facilities make when disposing medical waste like bio-hazardous waste, animal waste, radioactive waste and unused pharmaceuticals. Make sure your office isn’t making costly inefficient mistakes.

  1. Disposing Solid Waste As Regulated Medical Waste (RMW)
The most common mistake is to needlessly dispose of solid waste as regulated medical waste. According to federal law, solid waste is only to be disposed of as RMW if the solid waste had come into contact with contaminated materials.
Unfortunately, there are many generators who have adopted a laissez-faire approach towards the disposal of both solid waste and regulated medical waste. This is not only dangerous mismanagement, but it also proves costly to the healthcare facility, as it is much more expensive to dispose of regulated medical waste than solid waste.

  1. Inconsistent Medical Waste Management Training For Medical Staff
Medical Waste Management typically involves the training of medical staff in waste disposal practices; however, the consistency of such training, for many medical and healthcare facilities, often peters out.
Luckily, there are many agencies such as the EPA, OSHA, etc., that makes resources available for healthcare facilities to formulate a training program that will ensure the safety of workers, as well as decrease the chances of infection and/or contamination.
Additionally, some reputable medical waste transporters/haulers offer assistance in the form of training staff to stay within federal and state regulations.
  1. Failing To Transport Medical Waste According To Federal And State Regulations
According to merriinc.com, there are healthcare facilities that are not transporting untreated and treated medical waste correctly. Some common issues include; transporting regulated medical waste in improper containers and utilizing medical waste transports/haulers that do not have a permit to transport medical waste weighing over 50 pounds.
These violations results in heavy penalties to both the transporter/hauler and the medical or healthcare facility.
  1. Treating And Disposing Of Medical Waste Using Environmentally Dangerous Methods
Treating and disposing of medical waste using the method of incineration has been approved on federal, state, and local levels. However, according to Health Care Without Harm, incinerators contribute significantly to dioxin, mercury, lead and other pollutants that threaten the general populace. Can it be that this method of treating medical waste is just as harmful as the waste itself?
To answer this question, many companies have developed environmentally friendly technology to be made available to medical waste treatment facilities to ensure that medical waste is not only treated effectively, but that the residue generated is not harmful to the environment.

  One of the most important steps is for generators to review individual state and local laws regarding medical waste management practices. ¬†Medical and healthcare facilities can also keep abreast of regulations set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the US Department of Health (DOH), and/or the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding best medical waste disposal practices.

As always, Cyntox Medical Waste Disposal is here to answer any questions regarding your facilities compliance and medical waste disposal needs.