What Are Some Types of Medical Waste?

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Definition of Medical Waste

Medical waste is defined as any item that comes into contact with body fluids. More specifically, it is any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of humans.

Medical waste can be identified by one of the four different categories: Infectious, hazardous, radioactive, and general.

Infectious Waste

This type of waste is described as any waste that has the possibility of causing infections to humans. This type of waste can include animal or human tissue, bandages caked with blood, discarded surgical gloves, and or pathological waste. All of these examples of infectious waste require specific treatment methods for the disposal process.

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Hazardous Waste

This type of waste is defined as any solid or liquid waste that is considered toxic, chemically reactive, and flammable. Some examples include: some paints, batteries, solvents cleaning agents and pesticides.

Radioactive Waste

This is defined as any type of waste that contains radioactive materials. Usually, this is a by-products of nuclear power generation and other applications of nuclear technology. Some examples include: nuclear reactor waste, fission products

General Waste

This type of waste makes up the vast majority of the medical waste. If facilities employees are not careful, one of these three other types can get mixed up with General Waste.

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