Posted on April 16, 2015

In any medical profession, the act of diagnosing and treating your patients creates medical waste. Be it from drawing blood, disposing of expired medications, tossing out used gloves, or even just removing a bandage. However, the correct way of disposing medical waste varies widely from state to state and dealing with this your self can be a huge headache.

Why Are the Laws So Different State-to-State for Disposing Medical Waste?

In the late 1980s, the Environmental Protection Agency started regulating how you can dispose of medical waste. While states had to use these regulations as a framework, they were allowed to customize them in order to fit each individual state’s needs, and many did just that.

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These days, the EPA doesn’t oversee medical waste regulations. Instead, almost all of the fifty states have rules that differ from each other. Unlike state hazardous waste rules, which are all based on the federal government’s 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the standards for removing waste don’t follow a uniform design. This means every state manages waste from its own perspective and could conflict with another state’s interpretation of proper disposal.

While most states rely on the EPA for both developing and enforcing medical waste regulations, certain states prefer the Department of Health’s guidance. Still other states engage both agencies, where one is charged with management and the other with disposal.

To complicate matters further, some states include the federal regulations devised by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or have an OSHA state program in effect. This agency looks at waste management in terms of protecting the public, healthcare workers and the environment.

As you can see, there is very little consistency from one state to another in terms of regulating waste disposal. With the diverse interactions between federal and state agencies, it’s easy to feel confused about how to discard your biohazardous waste in a legal manner.

An Easy Solution

Although these different statewide approaches may seem overwhelming, you don’t have to navigate conflicting laws by yourself. MedPro Disposal can take on this responsibility for you, ensuring that your office is in total compliance with all state laws. By turning to the experts, items will be eliminated according to your state’s unique regulations. That way, you’ll be free to concentrate on your patients, not on waste disposal.


OSHA Compliance Training

For medical waste regulations in your state, check your state listings on our locations page.