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The Various Types of Medical Waste You Should Know About

Medical waste refers to any garbage that is produced as a by-product of healthcare workers at dentists’ hospitals, laboratories, and operating rooms. Medical wastes are mostly classified according to the type of material and methods of disposal. In most cases, there are country-specific guidelines for grouping medical waste. The common types of medical waste include the following:

● Infectious waste. This is waste that has fungi, parasites, bacteria, or viruses in large numbers. They are harmful when in contact with human beings. Examples include discarded surgical gloves, animal or human tissue, contaminated masks, swabs, and blood-soaked bandages.

● Radioactive waste. They are waste gotten from therapies for terminal treatment such as cancer, nuclear medical treatment, and isotope-using medical equipment. Pathological waste contaminated by radioactive materials is also considered as radioactive waste.

● Pathological waste.They are easily recognizable human and animal waste made up of organs, body parts, blood, and tissue.

● Hazardous waste.Waste that is not infectious but is still dangerous such as sharp objects, medical equipment, and some chemical waste.

● Pharmaceutical waste. They include any biological or chemical product intended for use in the prevention, treatment, or diagnosis in humans or animals. It consists of unused, expired, or contaminated vaccines and drugs.

● General/non-hazardous waste. It consists of waste that does not pose a risk physically or biologically to humans or animals. Examples are plastic or paper

Conclusion. Medical waste sources are hospitals, laboratories, mortuary, animal research and testing centers, and nursing homes for the elderly and blood banks.