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Medical Waste Regulation

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Medical waste, also known as a biohazard or infectious waste, is medical waste that is contaminated by body fluids such as blood, tissues, or other contagious waste and poses a considerable risk of transmitting infections. Medical waste needs special handling before it can be disposed of as solid waste.

Types of Medical Wastes
Several types of medical waste are categorized as regulated in many states. These are:

•    Human blood and other blood products
•    Cultures and other stocks of infectious waste
•    Pathological waste
•    Isolation waste
•    Contaminated sharps
•    Contaminated carcasses, body parts, beddings

The infectious state of most medical waste requires regulations to govern their disposal and prevent the spread of various diseases and illnesses.

Regulations for Medical Waste

Medical waste regulations are specific to the various health sectors. Additionally, each state has its own rules that govern the medical waste in that state.

Federal law has not provided a law that explicitly defines medical waste. In this case, each state department determines which waste is labeled regulated and those that require special handling.

However, medical waste regulation is further complicated by different healthcare agencies in every state that has the authority to regulate medical waste.

The several levels of regulations have made it unclear how to apply medical rules to a specific situation. However, the RMW State Locator offers practitioners and waste handles the opportunity to ask questions or request interpretations.