With the medical profession pushed to its limits in recent years, safely disposing of waste might not be the main thing on people’s minds. But with so much waste being produced, it all needs to be disposed of in the correct way and it must be taken seriously. This can be tricky when you’re unsure on just how to dispose of waste. Different types of waste need handling in different ways and it’s vital that it is done correctly.
For example, with so many patients in the US alone receiving chemotherapy each year, it raises the questions: What classes as chemo waste material? And how can it be disposed of? Well, we’ll answer the second question first, as it’s a simple solution. It needs to be disposed of in chemo waste containers, such as the ones provided by management waste companies. Sounds easy enough, right? Well it is, once you know what is classed as chemo waste.
Chemotherapy waste usually comes under the category of hazardous waste. This is something that, although not infectious, can still have serious consequences for humans and poses a danger to health. It can also have serious consequences for any facility that doesn’t handle waste in the correct way.
The first thing to determine is what category of chemotherapy waste you’re dealing with. As mentioned above, it will likely come under hazardous waste. This is due to a number of factors: levels of toxins, levels of reactivity, levels of corrosive substances, etc. However, other pieces of equipment will be used in chemotherapy treatment which also need to be handled and disposed of correctly, for example, IV tubes, vials, gowns, masks, goggles, gloves, etc. that contain only residual amounts of chemotherapy drugs on them. These are classed as trace chemotherapy waste. Anything that is contaminated with more than trace amounts of chemotherapy drugs on them, for example, if some drugs had been spilled on them, are classed as bulk chemotherapy waste.
Still sounds a bit confusing? This is why it is important to work with a company who know the difference between hazardous and non-hazardous, trace waste and bulk waste. Until the waste products are completely destroyed, your business is still held responsible for them, so working with a company that specialise in waste management will ensure everything is handled professionally and correctly, disposing of the chemotherapy waste in a suitable facility.