One important type of hazardous waste to be aware of is biohazardous waste. Biohazardous waste contains biological substances that pose a significant risk to the surrounding environment and population. It is most commonly found in medical facilities. There are four main types of biohazardous waste: pathological, sharp, solid, and liquid. Knowing the different types of biohazardous wastes can be extremely helpful in ensuring proper disposal procedures are followed.
Pathological biohazardous waste is infected organs, body parts, and other tissues that have been removed from humans or animals. It should be double-bagged to protect against any potential leaks before placing it in the proper container. This type of biohazardous waste is usually disposed of through incineration.
Sharp biohazardous waste, most commonly referred to as sharps, would be any instrument used for medical purposes that is sharp enough to puncture the skin. Sharps can include many different instruments, including saw blades, scalpels, needles, broken glass vials, slides from microscopes or anything else that has come into contact with infected bone, tissue, or biological material. Sharps require special containers that are almost always plastic. They are leak-proof, puncture-resistant, and easy to handle. Once filled, the containers are picked up by your medical waste disposal contractor.
Solid biohazardous waste is simply any non-sharp items or instruments that have come into contact with bodily fluids or tissues. It could be pipettes, Petri dishes, PPE, dishes, towels or bed linens, anything of that nature. It is important to note that if the solid biohazardous waste is breakable or could become sharp, it is classified as sharp and is to be packaged separately. These materials should be collected in specially designated, clearly marked bins to be collected by your waste disposal contractor.
Liquid biohazardous waste is any type of bodily fluid (like blood, urine, etc.) that may be contaminated with some sort of infection. It must be collected in containers that are totally leak-proof and secure, and clearly labeled as biohazards. Your waste disposal contractor can recommend containers and take care of proper disposal.
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