Biohazardous Medical Waste
Biohazardous Medical Waste is a subset of waste often generated at health care facilities, such as physician offices, surgery centers, blood banks, and hospitals. Medical waste is also generated by dental practices, veterinary clinics, research facilities, laboratories, and tattoo parlors. Medical Waste is a general term and sometimes can be interchanged with Regulated Medical Waste (RMW), Biomedical Waste, Healthcare Red Bag Waste or Infectious Medical Waste All of the terms refer to waste created during the healthcare process that’s either contaminated or potentially contaminated by infectious material.
According to United States Code 33 USCS § 1402 (k), the term medical waste means “isolation wastes; infectious agents; human blood and blood products; pathological wastes; sharps; body parts; contaminated bedding; surgical wastes and potentially contaminated laboratory wastes; dialysis wastes; and such additional medical items as the Administrator shall prescribe by regulation.”
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality uses the term Biohazardous Medical Waste. The definition of biohazardous medical waste is found in Arizona Administrative Code Article 14 (AAC R18-13-1401 to 1420). Biohazardous Medical Waste is composed of one or more of the following:
- Cultures and stocks generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of a human being or animal or in any research relating to that diagnosis, treatment, or immunization, or in the production or testing of biologicals.
- Human blood and blood products.
- Human pathologic waste such as discarded organs and body parts removed from surgery.
- Medical sharps used in animal or human patient care, medical research, or clinical laboratories.