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Current Regulatory Scheme for Medical Waste

rules and regulations
Almost all the states have enacted medical waste regulations governing packaging, storage and transportation. They vary a lot though, with some being made in the likeness of the old MWTA, and others bearing it no resemblance. In some states, health care facilities are required to have a permit for the waste.

In 24 states, OSHA (Dept. of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulates many aspects of medical waste. For instance, types of container, labelling of said containers and training of employees. The aim of OSHA is to protect workers in the health sector from pathogen exposure. They do also indirectly benefit the public and environment by regulating waste management practices.

The EPA plays a role with its emissions restrictions. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act also comes into play where chemicals are used to treat the waste. The Dept. of Transportation (DOT) plays a role where they define medical waste as a hazardous material and regulate the movement of waste from healthcare facilities. Even the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has a role to play with its infection control guidelines.

It’s important for medical facilities in all states to know and adhere to the correct waste regulations to protect their workers from illness or injury and to avoid litigation.