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waste disposal for nevada

Medical Waste Disposal for the State of Nevada

Every state has it’s own regulations and definition of Regulated Medical Waste or RMW. The state of Nevada takes responsibility to its citizens seriously to ensure that medical and health care facilities are disposing of medical waste in a manner that protects the environment and its citizens. In Nevada, the agency involved in overseeing the efficient treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal of medical waste is the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Local counties or governments institutions working in conjunction with this agency include the Southern Nevada Health District. For the State of Nevada, medical waste is defined and classified as the following: “…Waste which is generated or produced as a result of any of the following actions: diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals, research [pertaining to the above], the production or testing of biologicals.” Medical waste is classified as being either bio-hazardous waste, sharps waste, and waste generated at trauma sites (Source: Southern Nevada Health District – .pdf document) TREATMENT As most other States, the State of Nevada Health Authority allows for medical waste to be treated using the following methods:
  • Incineration
  • Steam-based Disinfection Methods (Autoclaving)
  • Alternative Treatments
Incineration Medical waste should be treated to burn temperatures of no less than 1,400ᴼF (760ᴼC). During the incineration process, frequent monitoring is required with a monitoring report to be produced to the Health Authority. Incinerated medical waste must be reduced to ash. Medical treatment centers are to ensure that incinerators are upgraded in accordance with the Clean Air Act. Autoclaving Using this method, medical waste should be treated by temperatures of no less than 250ᴼF (121.1ᴼC) for 30 minutes per 15 pounds per square inch of gauge pressure. The following medical waste materials are not to be treated using this method:
  • Suction canisters with solidified contents
  • Items containing trace chemotherapy waste
  • Pathologic or human specimen, including anatomical body parts generated from surgery or autopsy
  • Contaminated animal carcasses or body parts deemed pathogenic
  • Pharmaceutical waste
Alternative Treatment Methods All alternative treatment technologies must be approved by the Health Authority. All treatment facilities using these methods are required to obtain a permit from the Health Authority. STORAGE Medical waste should be stored in a secure location that is only accessible to authorized personnel.
  • Bio-hazardous waste is to be placed in red bags clearly stating the international biohazard symbol, and should be stored at no more than 32ᴼF for seven days or stored below 32ᴼF for no more than 30 days.
  • Sharps are to be placed in sharp containers for no more than 30 days and should be sealed and capped before treatment.
TRANSPORTATION Generators (hospitals, clinics, veterinary hospitals, dental offices, etc.) are required by the state to utilize medical waste transporters who have received a permit from the Health Authority within the governed district. Medical waste transportation requirements include:
  • Having medical waste labeled and stored according to state regulations
  • Not unloading, reloading and transferring medical waste to any other vehicle or facility unless permitted.
  • Not transporting improperly stored and labeled medical waste.
  • Maintain transportation records which are to be kept for future inspections by Health Authority.
RESOURCES For more information about medical waste management in the state of Nevada, you can view the following sources: