What Is and Isn’t Considered Medical Waste?

Medical Waste Materials

Medical waste is a large concept on its own and trying to remember all the materials that falls into it can be a daunting task. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), medical waste is defined as: 

Liquids or infectious materials that have the potential to release contaminants, items that have dried hazardous materials that could be dangerous when handling, or any pathological and microbiological wastes containing hazardous materials or blood. 

That definition alone has multiple parts, let us break it down. 


Liquid or Infectious Materials

Infectious waste can release harmful materials into the air or by skin exposure. You should avoid any infectious waste that can release contaminants unless you are specially trained on how to properly handle it. 


Dried Hazardous Materials

All contaminated materials that were in contact with hazardous waste. Dried hazardous materials have an elevated risk of releasing contamination and spreading diseases. You should always avoid encountering any dried hazardous materials. 


Pathological or Microbiological Waste

Pathological waste includes waste materials and body parts that were removed from humans or animals. Infectious organisms, microorganisms, and biologicals are categories of microbiological. These wastes are dangerous! You should always assume they are capable of carrying dangerous deceases and infections. Leave the handling to specially trained professionals. 

All in all, that is the definition that encompasses medical waste. Knowing everything that falls under it can be an overwhelming task. Sometimes, it is easier to remember what is not considered medical waste. 


What Is Not Considered Medical Waste

It may surprise you that some substances do not fall under this definition. Below are some substances that OSHA does not define as part of medical waste: 

  • Urine
  • Feces 
  • Vomit
  • Nasal discharge
  • Mucus
  • Saliva
  • Sweat

These bodily fluids aren’t deemed medical waste unless they contain blood or other infectious agents. 

There’s a lot that is considered about medical waste. Let this blog help you save time, money, and energy, and you can be certain you’re properly separating your medical waste.

Contact MedPro Disposal at 888-641-6131 to request your free quote!

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