A Comprehensive Introduction To Biohazard Waste

A Comprehensive Introduction To Biohazard Waste

25 October 2021
 Categories: , Blog

There are many diverse types of waste generated by human processes today. Take an example of those your body generates, including saliva and pleural fluid, or waste ethanol and acetic acid released by laboratories. All these have the potential to cause severe health issues and destroy the environment. To avoid that, you need to know the different types of biohazard waste to ensure you handle and dispose of them properly.

What Is Biohazard Waste?

Biohazardous waste refers to waste that contains substances or materials that can cause health problems like infections and harm the environment. That is why professionals often call them biomedical or infectious waste. These wastes come from various sources, including laboratories, hospitals, tattoo shops, and agricultural industries.

Types of Biohazard Waste

You can categorize biohazardous waste into any of the following broad categories:

1.       Liquid biohazard waste

The most common forms of liquid biohazard waste are body fluids like vaginal secretions, semen, pericardial fluid, cerebral spinal fluid, and human blood and associated products, including serum and plasma. These are classified as biohazardous waste because they are often contaminated with infectious agents. As a result, professionals collect them in properly labeled leak-proof containers and treat them accordingly.

2.       Solid biohazard waste

Lab experts and other professionals refer to any non-sharp item that has come into contact with contaminated materials like body fluid as solid biohazardous waste. Common examples of this type of biohazard waste include disposable personal protective equipment like gloves, bench paper, and plasticware such as specimen vials and pipettes. Solid biohazardous waste is dangerous and, therefore, needs careful handling, especially where "breakables" like glass blood tubes are involved.

3.       Pathological biohazard waste

Pathological biohazard waste primarily comes from human or animal tissues, body parts, and organs examined in labs. In most cases, these contain infectious agents. Some of the medical procedures that result in this type of biohazardous waste include autopsies and surgery. Medical professionals always take extra precautions such as double-bagging to prevent pathological biohazard waste leaks.

4.       Sharp biohazard waste

Some of the sharp biohazard wastes you are likely to encounter regularly include needles, scalpels, glass pipettes, and saw blades. But, before terming them biohazard wastes, there should be proof of potentially infectious material contamination. To prevent sharp biohazard waste from negatively impacting your health, experts recommend using special containers to store medical devices that can puncture the skin.

The Bottom Line

Biohazardous wastes are dangerous to humans and the environment. That is why regulatory bodies like the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have strict mandates regarding their handling. To avoid harming yourself or other individuals, seek guidance and professional disposal from biohazardous waste experts. 

Contact a company like Metro Detroit Medical Waste for more information.  

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