Pharm Waste vs. Chemo Waste vs. Path Waste vs. Sharps Waste vs. Biohazard Waste! With all these choices, what’s a poor medical waste generator to do?
Well first, you should educate yourself on California’s Medical Waste Management Act (CA-MWMA). A copy is provided by the state free of charge.
You need to be able to classify your medical waste into the appropriate category. The definitions for each of these types of medical waste is found in Section 117690. Based on the type of medical waste you generate, you need to segregate for storage. For example; chemo waste, path waste, and pharm waste must be segregated into their own containers. For the most part, you are not allowed to mix these segregated wastes with other types of medical waste. You cannot mix pharm waste and biohazardous waste into the same container. However, like so many things in the regulatory world, there are exceptions. For example, there is an exception that allows for mixing sharps and pharmaceutical waste in the MWMA in section 118275(b)(7). Just make sure you follow all the requirements for the exception.
Once you get the segregation down, make sure you appropriately label your containers. Sections 117690 and 118285 of the MWMA provide the labeling requirements.
Biohazardous Waste (Biohazard Waste) – Label with the words “Biohazardous Waste” or with the international biohazard symbol AND the word “BIOHAZARD” on the lid and sides so as to be visible from any lateral direction.
Chemotherapy Waste (Chemo Waste) – Label with the words “Chemotherapy Waste” or “CHEMO” on the lid and sides so as to be visible from any lateral direction.
Pathology Waste (Path Waste) – Label with the words “Pathology Waste” or “PATH” on the lid and sides so as to be visible from any lateral direction.
Pharmaceutical Waste (Pharm Waste) – Label with the words “HIGH HEAT” or “INCINERATION ONLY” on the lid and sides so as to be visible from any lateral direction. Notice how the MWMA does not say to label this type of medical waste with the term pharmaceutical waste.
Sharps Waste – Label with the words “Sharps Waste” or with the international biohazard symbol AND the word “BIOHAZARD”.
Wait a minute. Will this labeling satisfy the DOT requirements for shipping regulated medical waste? No, it won’t. But that is why INGENIUM is here. We can assist to ensure that your containers are properly labeled and marked for transportation once they are ready to go into transportation.
Our job is to make your job easier!