Getting Educated on the Different types of Biohazard Waste
Did you know that the improper disposal of biohazard waste could potentially expose healthcare workers, waste handlers, patients, and the community at large to infection, injuries, and toxic effects, according to the World Health Organization?
The reason disposing of biohazard waste improperly happens is because there are so many different types of medical waste; many people might forget that certain items need to be properly and safely disposed of. In other cases, they may simply not be properly trained on how to handle said waste. Here are a few of the most common biohazards.
One of the most common types of biohazard waste is microbiological waste, which is any laboratory waste that contains or has been contaminated with concentrated, infectious agents. For example, specimen cultures, discarded live viruses, stocks of etiologic agents, and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures.
Human Body Fluids.
All human body fluids in a liquid or in a semi-liquid sate, including any and all human blood and blood products, are a form of biohazard waste. Items that have been contaminated with blood, saliva, secretions, cerebral spinal fluid, amniotic fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, pleural fluid, and/or synovial fluid in any way, shape, or form, are biohazardous. These wastes represent the majority of hazardous waste.
Any animal carcasses, body parts, or bedding material which an infected animal may have used, are also a form of biohazard waste. That is, unless the bedding material is inoculated with pathogenic microorganisms that aren’t infectious to humans. However, it’s most often times better to be safer than sorry in these cases, and treat the bedding material as such anyways.
Pathological waste is any and all human body parts, organs, and tissues, including any materials that may have come from surgical procedures, biopsy materials, or any unfixed human tissue.
Keeping these biohazard wastes separated is paramount for their proper disposal, just as appropriate education and incentives can help hospitals reduce red bag waste.
For more information on Biohazardous waste, please visit the World Health Organization website at http://www.who.int/en/
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