Six flags over Texas is the state’s slogan that lays out much of this great state’s history from 1519 to today, from under the rule of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic, the Confederation and the United States. Today you can read about these flags, and find out some of the many places they are proudly displayed in the state, in The Handbook of Texas Online from the Texas State Historical Society, an enormous historical and social resource for Texas. The Texan State Flag, also known as the Lone Star Flag, contains the eponymous single white star of this famously independent state, set against three broad colored bands of red, blue and white, representing the principles of bravery, loyalty and purity.The Lone Star State has grown through wars and peace, busts and booms, and a free-wheeling determination to do things its own way. Culturally, dominant regional influences on Texans come from a unique collision and melding of the American West, the Southwest and the South, creating a swaggering, supersized Texan character in an equally large physical state. “Everything is bigger in Texas” is another slogan that gets used a lot. Self perception aside, the state has over 80,000 miles of public highways alone. The first state freeway is the Gulf Freeway, built between 1948-1952, that links Galveston to Houston. An early “super-highway” first conceived of in 1930, it eventually replaced the Galveston-Houston Electric Railway, as cars became a dominant factor of transportation in the state and in our culture. As Texas has grown these past sixty plus years, particularly with the 70’s oil boom and modern technology industry growth, so has the Gulf Freeway, reconceived and reconstructed to accommodate larger populations and commuter numbers. Texas keeps growing.A much wilder long strip in Texas was called Posoge by the Pueblo Indians, or big river – the Rio Grande. Shared by three states, much of this river is completely unnavigable, a turbulent, splendid bucking bronco of water flowing along one part of our international border with Mexico, into the Gulf. The land and the people it serves need its water for sustenance and power, for both the United States and Mexico, and massive projects continue to search for a balance between energy, irrigation and conservancy. A big river for a big state – Texans would not have it any other way.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sets the regulations for the handling, treatment and proper disposal of sharps, samples and other wastes of concern from clinics and similar settings. The state’s classification of medical waste includes treated and untreated special waste from health care-related facilities that is comprised of animal waste, bulk blood, bulk human blood, bulk human body fluids, microbiological waste, pathological waste, and sharps, as well as “regulated medical waste”. Types of waste are:
- Animal waste from animals intentionally exposed to pathogens
- Bulk human blood and blood products
- Pathological waste
- Microbiological waste
The storage of medical waste shall be in a secure manner and location that affords protection from theft, vandalism, inadvertent human or animal exposure, rain, water, and wind. The waste shall be managed so as not to provide a breeding place or food for insects or rodents, and not generate noxious odors. Generators of medical waste are not required to refrigerate the waste, but must store it in a secure manner and not create a nuisance. More from the TCEQ about medical waste can be found on their Managing and Disposing of Medical Waste page, with links to rules, guidance and forms.
By definition, sharps waste is any biohazardous material that can puncture skin and is contaminated with bodily fluids. According to OSHA estimates, 5.6 million healthcare workers handling medical equipment such as needles, syringes, and scalpels are at risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens from sharps-related injuries. Therefore, it is crucial for medical clinics, practices, surgery centers, and other businesses that generate contaminated needles and syringes to dispose of medical sharps waste correctly. Incorrect management of discarded needles and other sharps can pose a health risk to the public and waste workers. Discarded needles may expose waste workers to needle stick injuries and infection, if containers break inside garbage trucks, or needles are mistakenly sent to recycling facilities. Janitors and housekeepers also risk injury, if uncontained sharps poke through plastic garbage bags. Proper sharps waste management requires:
- Proper puncture-proof container
- Care from the medical community
- Proper training for dealing with sharps
- A licensed medical waste disposal company for container removal
To reduce the risk of injury, the FDA recommends healthcare facilities and other waste generators follow a two-step process for proper medical sharps disposal:
- Place all needles and sharps in a verified sharps disposal container immediately after use.
- Overfilling containers increase risk of injury, so when 3/4 full, follow community guidelines on getting rid of the sharps container.
- Storage requirements and community guidelines vary by location.
By following medical sharps disposal regulations, you can keep your business compliant and avoid unnecessary fees, reduce pollution to the environment, prevent injury, and prevent the spread of disease.
For Texan healthcare facilities looking for a simple, compliant and cost-effective sharps removal service, contact MedPro Disposal. We’ll create a customized and flexible service schedule and provide you with puncture-proof containers to simply seal and schedule for pick-up when full. For a smaller generators of waste, MedPro Disposal also offers a sharps mail-back service.
Healthcare practices in Texas save an average of $8,866 a year by working with MedPro Disposal. We are a provider for full service management, removal, transportation and disposal of regulated medical waste. Our commitment to customer service, safety and regulatory compliance leaves our clients protected and confident that their waste is being disposed of in the proper manner. At your convenience, a sales representative will be happy to provide a quote on your medical waste removal and disposal needs. We look forward to the opportunity to service all your medical waste removal, transportation and disposal needs and to provide you with outstanding service.