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Understanding 4 Types of Medical Waste

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Medical waste management is an indivisible part of operating a medical facility. Medical facilities produce various types of medical waste. The majority of it is non hazardous.


However, there are other types of medical waste that can cause harm to individuals and the environment. Therefore, in this article, we will explore the four types of medical waste.


1.      General waste

This type of waste is not dangerous for both the people and the environment. General medical waste is similar to household waste. It contains things like documents, plastic bottles, and other non-hazardous materials. It needs no special treatment and can be taken to landfills.


2.      Infectious waste

Infectious waste, just like the name implies, can bring infectious diseases to humans. Some examples of infectious waste are swabs, blood, and any kind of bodily fluids. It can also be known as pathological waste and it requires special storage, transportation, and disposal.


3.      Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is not infectious to humans. Still, it can cause harm to the people and the environment because it contains dangerous chemicals like certain kinds of pharmaceuticals and medical containers.  For this reason, proper care should be taken storing and discarding this type of waste.


4.      Radioactive waste

Radioactive waste contains medicines and equipment wastes that are produced by different radioactive treatments. Practically, anything that interacts with any kind of radiation source can be considered radioactive waste.



Hospitals and other medical facilities will produce tons of waste every day, especially during a pandemic time like this. Many of them can be treated just like normal household waste.


However, other kinds of waste, such as infectious waste, hazardous waste, and radioactive waste will need special treatments when it comes to storage, transportation, and disposing. Improper disposal of these medical wastes can negatively impact humans and the environment.