Archive for: Hazardous Waste

Infectious waste in landfill leads to hospital fine

By: May 19th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A New Mexico hospital is having trouble mending its ways with regard to regulated medical waste disposal.

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, Santa Fe, NM, has paid $21,400 for violating the state’s Environment Department regulations for improperly disposing of infectious waste, reported Waste Recycling News on May 17.

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New Jersey does its thing for illegal medical waste dumping

By: May 11th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Here’s a “Jersey thing” that shouldn’t be limited to just the Garden State.

A bill that would suspend the license of a doctor who illegally dumps medical waste has unanimously passed the New Jersey Assembly, reports the The Star-Ledger, May 9.

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Medical waste storage: It’s usually a state matter

By: June 21st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A frequently asked question submitted to the OSHA Healthcare Advisor concerns medical waste. The common misconception is that federal OSHA regulates this area.

However, that is only partly true. The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard (1910.1030) addresses exposure hazards to regulated waste particularly at the point of generation, initial containment, bagging, and labeling

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Handling glutaraldehyde

By: February 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

From Medical Environment Update, March 2010:

Although autoclaving is the preferred method of sterilization, glutaraldehyde is a high-level disinfectant that is commonly used to sterilize instruments that cannot withstand the heat of a steam sterilizer. Avoid using glutaraldehyde on an instrument before autoclaving it.

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Law passed to save Jersey Shore

By: January 21st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Don’t get excited, or in an uproar for that matter; the headline does not protect MTV’s reality show of the same name from cancellation. It refers to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s signing into law a measure to toughen the financial penalties against illegal ocean dumping.

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Ask the expert: Mercury devices in medical practices

By: January 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Is it illegal to have mercury thermometers and blood pressure devices in medical practices?

A: To my knowledge there is no federal or state-wide prohibition against using mercury devices in healthcare, only a memorandum of agreement between the EPA and the AHA to eliminate mercury eventually from healthcare settings.

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Cleaning up a spill

By: December 29th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Environmental services employees can be crucial to the well-being of your patients and your staff. Here is a tip on spill clean-ups  as appearing in a recent issue of Medical Environment Update.

Despite all possible precautions, there is no way to prevent all spills. Accidents happen, and even with the best of intentions, a healthcare worker is bound to slip, trip, or fall. The crucial part is how you handle the aftermath of the incident. Below are steps you should take to clean up a spill:

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Handling different types of lab waste

By: October 22nd, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Chemical waste must be handled according to the manufacturer’s requirements on the material safety data sheets (MSDS). Hazardous chemical disposal is regulated through state and local governmental agencies. It is important to get proper authorization from these agencies to dispose of the chemicals and utilize licensed lab-packing companies to package and ship the chemical waste for proper disposal.

Regulated waste is placed in containers that are closable and constructed to contain all contents and to prevent fluids from leaking during handling, storage, transport, or shipping. The containers are labeled and closed before removal to prevent the contents from spilling or protruding during handling, storage, transport, or shipping. If outside contamination of the regulated waste container occurs, it is placed in a second container that has the same qualities as the first (e.g., closable, leak-proof) and is handled in the same manner.

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Getting the lead out: Radiation aprons and hazardous waste

By: March 27th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

I found myself in an e-mail conversation recently about the disposal of lead radiation aprons and whether there is a hazardous waste or EPA aspect to this activity.

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Slumdog needlesticks; no award for this performance

By: March 4th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

A little off the subject, but here’s a scene reminiscent of “Slumdog Millionaire,” however, the happy Bollywood-type ending is yet to be written,  if ever.

Officials from the Bharuch regional office of Gujarat (India) Pollution Control Board are investigating a medical device scrap recovery operation where women and children eke out a living by winnowing contaminated needles and sharps “from the disposable filth,” according to the Times of India, March 3.

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Going green by reducing the red

By: March 3rd, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

There is one initiative that healthcare facilities both large and small can implement and make a pretty significant impact on the environment.

Oh, and did we mention it could save you a little cash as well.

This month’s issue of Medical Environment Update features an article about greening your healthcare practice.

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Even with EPA’s proposed pharmaceutical waste changes, state regulations still matter

By: February 5th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Pharmaceutical waste, as they say in the industry, is a very sticky wicket. There is certainly a great deal of anticipation that the RCRA restrictions (nice alliteration, eh?) will be relaxed to a degree that is most favorable to healthcare facilities when it comes to this waste (see the free article posted on the Hospital Safety Connection for a brief rundown of what’s happening and happening and how to comment on the proposal, which the EPA will accept until March 4).

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