OSHA requires employers to “provide appropriate PPE for workers who could be exposed to blood or other infectious materials (such as internal bodily fluids).” Commonly used Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers include gloves, gowns, goggles, masks, and face shields. While some of those items may be reusable, the majority are single-use items requiring disposal after use. Though OSHA defines what level of contamination requires disposal as regulated medical waste, state regulations may have more strict definitions of what PPE must be disposed of as regulated medical waste (RMW).
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Last updated on October 13, 2021

In the United States, enforcing laws and regulations involves a balancing act between the federal government and individual state governments. When it comes to hazardous waste management, states can impose standards stricter than the federal governments. As a result, certain materials not regulated as solid or hazardous waste under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) may  be regulated materials/wastes under a specific state’s program.
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