COVID-19 Medical Waste: Helpful Tips

This is an update of the article originally published on March 19, 2020. Regulations change frequently. That’s why Sharps Compliance monitors updates and communicates any changes to its customers.

In these uncertain times, many of our current and prospective customers look to us, their regulated medical waste (RMW) management experts, for guidance in the proper handling of waste generated from confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases, and rightfully so.
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Who is Maintaining Your Medical Waste?

This is an update of the article originally published on August 6, 2014. Regulations change frequently. That’s why Sharps Compliance monitors updates and communicates any changes to its customers.

“I don’t have time to close up and label the medical waste box – so the medical waste transport driver does it.”

This statement is often uttered by busy employees responsible for managing their facility’s medical waste. However, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and other regulatory bodies place the onus of responsibility for preparing and packaging medical waste on the generator of the waste, not the transporter.

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Medications in the Trash: A Health & Environmental Hazard

Worldwide, landfills serve as the most common final destination for a wide range of business and consumer wastes discarded into the regular trash, including unwanted or expired medications5. Unfortunately, landfills are also one of the primary sources of contamination in ground waters and surface waters4. Once rainwater or other leaky wastes mix with the solid waste buried at landfills, a “leachate” liquid is created. When medications are disposed in the trash, they eventually contribute to this leachate, creating complex chemical cocktails that can end up in drinking water, rivers, and oceans alike, with the potential to cause serious public health and environmental issues5,7.
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COVID-19 Coronavirus Is in the United States. Is Your Medical Office Ready?

Confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus strain are spreading worldwide, and people are anxious about the prospect of a pandemic. The World Health Organization updated its threat assessment to the highest level: “very high.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the first case of possible “community transmission” in the US, and all medical facilities need to prepare for an influx of patients who are infected – or worry that they are.
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Sharps Safety Under OSHA’s Needlestick Prevention and Safety Act

In 2001 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised their Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Standard with The Needlestick Prevention and Safety Act to detail more specific requirements for employers to address sharps safety and needlestick incidents. The following requirements were officially integrated into the Standard:
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