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Examples of Hazardous Medical Waste

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It is in medical facilities that various infectious and toxic wastes are produced. It can be from discarded sharps, gloves, used bandages, human/animal tissue, and more. Therefore, medical waste should not be taken lightly since human health may be at risk.

As most medical waste usually comes into contact with bodily fluid, proper disposal is highly competent. This will help prevent contaminated or hazardous materials from spreading to other areas.

Definition of Medical Waste

Medical waste is any infectious or potentially infectious by-product that is associated with medical or laboratory origins. The most common producers of medical waste are hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, dentists, and laboratories.

These facilities usually create waste hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials. The waste is most likely contaminated with physical fluids or blood during diagnosis, amputation, or any other kind of treatment.

Classification of Medical Waste

Various countries usually define and classify their own medical waste rather differently from others. In this particular article, we will highlight the most common classifications for medical waste. These include:

1.      Infectious waste

As the name infers, infectious waste is anything that evokes infections in humans. Examples of infectious wastes are blood-soaked bandages, human/animal tissue, cultures, swabs, stocks, and surgical gloves. Even pathological waste (any waste containing pathogens) is considered infectious.

2.      Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is generally any waste that can affect humans in non-infectious methods. It consists of chemical hazards, old drugs, or sharp objects like needles, razor blades, scalpels, and more. However, hazardous waste requires a professional from a Maryland waste removal company for proper disposal.

3.      Radioactive waste

Radioactive waste is generated from medical treatments that use radioactive isotopes. This may also be a result of nuclear medical treatments and cancer therapies.

Pathological waste that carries radioactive materials is a good example of radioactive waste. Since radioactive waste poses a threat to health, a recommended professional from Maryland medical waste company ought to handle the disposal procedure.

4.      General waste

General waste is comparable to home or office refuses. In medical facilities, general waste consists of plastics, paper, broken glass, or any other waste that isn’t considered hazardous. These wastes can be easily disposed of without the need of a professional.

Segregation of Medical Waste

Segregation of medical waste is the most vital step to ensuring safe disposal. This aids in protecting patients and health workers by preventing contamination from infectious materials. From the above categorization of medical waste, it is evident that its refuse requires different disposal tactics.

It is safe to dispose of some general waste in a landfill or perform autoclaving (sterilizing of medical tools and equipment). However, some medical waste requires proper handling from a specialist. An example is medical waste that must be incinerated to ensure optimum destruction of pathogens and infections.