Compliance is a top priority in healthcare facilities. Part of maintaining the compliance of your facility is ensuring pharmaceutical waste is properly handled and disposed of. On a Federal level, there are 4 main agencies that dictate the regulations for pharmaceutical and other hazardous waste disposal: the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To ensure your facility’s pharmaceutical waste disposal remains compliant with relevant regulations, follow these best practices!
The most important factor in pharmaceutical waste disposal is properly identifying the substances that you are dealing with. Healthcare facilities typically have a list of pharmaceuticals in the facility, called a formulary. Refer to this list when identifying waste.
Once you’ve properly identified the waste you’re dealing with, you determine its hazardous characteristics. Is it flammable? Strongly acidic or basic? Corrosive or explosive? Fortunately, the RCRA identifies many different categories of hazardous waste. The ones most commonly found in a healthcare setting are:
- U-listed- most often chemotherapy drugs but can also be other things
- P-listed- hazardous to the environment and drinking water
- D-listed- also called characteristically hazardous waste, these substances have characteristics that can make them corrosive, toxic, flammable, or reactive in some way.
After identifying the hazardous characteristics of the waste, it should be separated based on these characteristics to ensure safety. The separation also ensures compliance, as there are regulations governing what is safe to store with what.
Proper pharmaceutical waste disposal involves following many, many regulations. They aren’t just from the EPA, either. Your facility will have to ensure compliance with DEA, OSHA, and the DOT as well. Depending on where you’re located, there may be other, more stringent State and local regulations as well.
Partner with a Reliable Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Company
AEG wants to be your pharmaceutical waste disposal company! Collect waste and ensure it’s in the proper containers and we will take care of the rest!
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No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.
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