Around 254 million tons of total solid waste are created in America every year. On a smaller scale, hospitals in the United States are responsible for creating about 6 million tons in the same time span. While most medical waste is labeled as being non-hazardous, roughly 15% of that waste is considered hazardous.
We want to keep health risks to a minimum, and that means disposing of medical waste in a proper fashion. Without following proper protocol, there can be serious repercussions. Here is what can go wrong if you don’t properly dispose of your medical waste.
What are the Risks?
Healthcare professionals are no strangers to dealing with medical waste that has not been handled properly. With that said, they are not the only ones put at risk. Every person who makes contact with this waste is susceptible. On top of potentially contaminating everyone involved in the handling of medical waste, the local environment can also become contaminated if medical waste isn’t disposed of the right way.
Infectious pathogens are the greatest threat that mishandled medical waste presents. People can contract illnesses in many manners, such as through skin penetrations, consumption, and inhalation of pathogens.
In the case of chemicals, liquids, and pharmaceuticals, if waste isn’t handled properly, people can end up burnt or poisoned. The environment can also become contaminated. Chemicals that end up in sewers of big cities can cause problems to various ecosystems.
There’s also radioactive waste, such as the waste made through chemotherapy. In lighter doses, this type of waste can cause dizziness, vomiting, and headaches. Some more serious problems can result, such as serious burns and dissemination of body tissue, which could force amputations. Much like the other types of waste, radioactive waste is detrimental to the environment, harming water, air, and soil quality.
What is the Safe Way to Dispose of Medical Waste?
Handling medical waste is a tough job, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times. Regulations and protocols are constantly changing, so the methods used to dispose of everything safely never stay constant for long. What’s more, is that medical waste generators will usually have to have third-party companies help with their waste management for the sake of remaining HIPAA-compliant. Therefore, it’s important that you find a waste management company that you can trust. If you pick the right company, you won’t have to worry about not being compliant with current regulations because they’ll handle it for you. Plus, you’ll have additional time to help your business grow. When you put money into the right company, you’ll get great returns for your investment.
Choose AEG Environmental as Your Hazardous Waste Management Company
Our team can handle any type of waste you put in front of us. Don’t risk your safety and health! If there has been a hazardous mess of any kind, call us today and get the best medical waste management services available!