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What is Considered Medical Waste?

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The proper disposal of medical waste should be a top priority of labs and medical facilities. However, what exactly falls under this category? In general, there are four types of medical waste. Read on to understand the differences between them and what belongs to each kind.

Hazardous Waste

This kind encompasses everything that can affect people in a non-infectious manner. Hazardous waste refers to medical and industrial chemicals, old drugs, and sharps like lancets, scalpels, and needles. Medical waste like these objects should be treated and handled by a waste removal company with utmost care.

Infectious Waste

Meanwhile, infectious waste is composed of objects that might infect humans. Examples include bloody bandages, cultures, human tissue, stocks, swabs, and surgical gloves. There is even pathological infectious waste, which describes any waste that might contain pathogens.

Radioactive Waste

This is waste produced by cancer therapies, nuclear medicine treatments, and equipment that deals with radioactive isotopes. Pathological waste with radioactive material contamination is also considered radioactive waste. Radiation poses health risks and must be taken seriously.

General Waste

Everything else falls under this kind. General waste refers to the same objects that you generate at home or the office. This type includes plastics, paper, liquids, and more. In reality, the majority of medical waste belongs to this category.

Some people assume that it is wise to remove medical waste without a professional. However, this is foolish and even endangers lives. Hire a medical waste company to deal with your medical waste for you instead.