Biohazardous Waste and Their Proper Waste Disposal Methods

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that 15 percent of the world’s healthcare waste is considered as hazardous material. Such material can be infectious, radioactive, or merely toxic. Biohazardous medical waste is any waste that includes anycontagious substance such as waste that comes from hospitals and dental clinics. This also includes waste from laboratories, veterinary clinics, and medical research offices. Biohazardous medical waste can be classified into five types: solid biohazardous waste, liquid biohazardous waste, sharp biohazardous waste, pathological biohazardous waste, and microbiological waste. All of these medical waste types require biohazardous waste disposal methods.

Types of Biohazardous Waste

Solid biohazardous waste is a non-sharp material that comes into contact with human and animal specimen. Liquid biohazardous waste consists of body fluids and blood that may have an infectious agent. Sharp biohazardous waste, on the other hand, is any sharp medical equipment that may be infectious. It may be sharp enough to puncture the skin. Pathological biohazardous waste includes any removed body part, tissues, or organs from animals and humans. Any of these may have infectious agents in them. Microbiological waste is the waste material that comes from laboratories.

Biohazardous Waste Disposal Methods According to Types of Waste

There are different types of biohazardous waste disposal methods applied to the different kinds of waste material.

For liquid biohazardous waste, it can be disposed of through the lab sink. It can be autoclaved and disposed of through the lab sink. Solid (non-sharp) biohazardous waste, on the other hand, must be placed in a bag which is tightly sealed. It’s moved to a leak-proof secondary container in a collection area of the lab for biohazardous waste. If the bag is picked up by an outside vendor, put the securely closed bag in the vendor-supplied waste container for pickup and disposal. Such bags will be autoclaved or incinerated by the vendor for the final step. For sharps, it’s crucial to seal off the container once it’s ¾ full,so the items do not fall off from it. If the containers will be picked up by outside vendors, put the closed container within the vendor-supplied waste container intended for pickup or disposal. These containers will be incinerated and autoclaved for final treatment. Pathological waste has to be burnt to ensure effective treatment and disposal. You may contact the community’s biosafety officer for a pickup service or a professional company that offers such a service.

There are common disposal methods for biohazardous medical waste. These are the following:

Incineration- This is the application of high temperature to biohazard waste material. This is meant to kill all the organic substances such as viruses, bacteria, and pathogens in the waste.

Autoclaving-This employs an intense and highly pressurized steam-heated chamber which can be used to sterilize biomedical waste. This process is also used to sterilize medical equipment and supplies.

Bleaching- This is the process in which particular types of chemicals (usually a compound that contains chlorine) are used to create a reaction on the chemicals found in the biomedical waste.