Medical waste, when improperly treated and disposed of, is potentially harmful to others and to the environment.
Medical waste is generated in a number of ways but usually as a result of the treatment, immunization, or care of humans or animals. Due to treatment, waste is generated, and that waste could be potentially dangerous or infectious. The Center for Disease Control , The World Health Organization, and the US Environmental Protection all state that the following are to be considered infectious waste: blood and blood products, laboratory cultures, needles, scalpels, and any waste generated from patients in isolation. The World Health Organization suggests that while 75-90% of medical waste from healthcare facilities may not be infectious, the remaining 10-25% could be very dangerous for the environment and in the case of human contact. Disposal of these and other wastes is a safety and environmental concern.
Proper disposal of these types of waste is a safety concern but also an environmental concern. Medical Waste found in the ocean or washed up on beaches, for instance, may contain strains of bacteria or viruses and often forces beaches to close due to risk. One of the most common incidents is having syringes or needles wash up on shores, which can be contaminated or infected with hepatitis or other blood-borne pathogens and diseases.
There is a general consensus among professional health care organizations, regulators, and the waste management professionals that proper management starts with identifying waste and handling it properly. When waste is correctly identified, it can then be properly segregated so that any waste needing special treatment can be handled. When all necessary steps are taken in the disposal and treatment of medical waste, it greatly reduces the risk to others, the negative effect on the environment, and the potential for fines and cost-accruing incidents.
At Healthcare Waste Management, we take the guess work out of proper disposal and handling of your medical waste. Our passion is to help you reduce waste, risk, and costs! Call us for a quote, we’ll have it ready in minutes.