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Handling and Disposal of
Infectious Wastes
Biomedical Waste Regulations
• OSHA “Bloodborne Pathogens Standards” 29 CFR part
1910.1030
– Sharps containers & waste packaging
• Generators, Transporters, and Disposal Facilities are
Regulated by States
– DSHS Title 25 Part 1.131- 1.137 “Definition, Treatment, and
Disposition of Special Waste from Health Care Related Facilities”
– TCEQ Chapter 330.1001 Subchapter Y: “Medical Waste
Management”
• Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Biosafety in
Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories”
– Laboratory and clinical practices
– Defines certain infectious agents
Infectious Waste Management
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Designation
Packaging
Storage
Treatment and disposal
Contingency Plan
Record-keeping
What is an Infectious Waste?
• Waste capable of producing an infectious disease
–
–
–
–
Presence of a pathogen of sufficient virulence
Dose
Portal of entry
Resistance of host
• Includes:
– Isolation wastes
– Microbiological waste (cultures and stocks)
– Bulk human blood and blood products >100ml, free
flowing, or saturated disposable products
– Infectious animal carcasses, body parts, and
bedding
– Pathological Waste
– Sharps
Packaging
•
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Rigid leak proof containers
Sealed and impervious to moisture
Absorbent to capture any free liquids
Labeled with biohazard symbol
Closed container for aerosols
Sharps in approved container and
color coded
Packaging
• Rigid leak proof containers
• Sealed and impervious to
moisture
• Absorbent to capture any
free liquids
• Labeled with biohazard
symbol
• Closed container for
aerosols
• Sharps in approved
container
Typical Containers Used for
Infectious Wastes
–
Typical Sharps Containers
Infectious Waste Storage
• Secure from theft
• Secure from the
elements (rain, water,
and wind)
• Store as not to generate
noxious odors or attract
animals (vector control)
• Posted with the
biohazard symbol
• Spill equipment
available
• Words “Medical Waste” or
“Infectious Waste” and universal
biohazard symbol
• In some states Spanish is
required (TX)
• Offsite shipments require the
name and address of generator
and transporter to be affixed to
the container
• Red plastic bags used as inner
packaging do not require labeling
• Liner must be tied
Labeling
Treatment and Disposal
• Biological waste must be rendered noninfectious prior to final disposal into a
landfill
– This can be achieved either onsite or offsite by
utilizing an approved method of treatment
such as
– Autoclaving
– Chemical treatment and maceration
– Dry heat / thermal inactivation
– Incineration
Offsite Treatment and Disposal
• Approved medical waste
transporter
• Treatment options
– Incineration
– Steam Sterilization
– Onsite maceration and
disposal (microwave
and chlorine)
• Audit your contractor’s facility
Recordkeeping - Offsite
Treatment
• Manifests
• Certificate of
incineration
• Reconciliation of
manifests
• Records should
be maintained for
at least three years
Onsite Treatment and Disposal
• Steam sterilization
(Autoclave)
• Chemical
disinfection
• Thermal
inactivation (Dry
heat)
• Incineration
Steam Sterilization
• Types of wastes (micro, blood, etc.)
• Packaging of inner containers
– allow steam to enter bags
• Temperature, pressure, and time
dependent
– minimum parameters 250F, 15
psi, 30 min.
• Volume and configuration of load
– do not overload autoclave
• Quality control documentation is
required
Quality Control
• Autoclave temperature tape recommended
• Parameter monitoring (pressure and
temperature)
– every load
• Efficacy monitoring
– 50 -100 lbs/month - monthly
– 100 -200 lbs/month - biweekly
– >200 lbs/month - weekly
• routine parameter monitoring maybe
substituted for biological monitoring
Autoclave Use Logs
• Must include:
– Date waste is treated
– Type of waste
– Treatment conditions
(time, temperature &
pressure)
– Amount of waste treated
– Name & initials
– Location or room number
Autoclave Efficacy Testing
Liquid Infectious Waste Disposal
•
Chemical disinfection is generally
used for liquid wastes
•
EPA registered disinfectant; 1:10
bleach solution, or 70% isopropanol
•
Totally immersed for at least 10
minutes
•
Disinfectant must be thoroughly
drained prior to disposal if used on
solids, and solids need to be
macerated
Contingency Plan
• Written plan to address clean up
procedures, protection of personnel,
and disposal of waste for (worst
case scenario) :
– Spills of liquid waste
– Equipment failure
– Rupture of packaging
• Incorporate into SPCC/Hazardous
waste and substances contingency
plan or biosafety manual
Questions?
Alan.Lucas@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-8104
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