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Saturday, May 30 2015
North Carolina Sharps & Medical Waste Management
North Carolina Medical Waste and Sharps Needle Waste Management and Disposal. Are you in need of Biohazard, Sharps or Medical waste disposal in North Carolina? Carolina Biohazard Disposal has a service for you - provided here are rules, regulations and interpretations for regulated medical waste in North Carolina. Contacts us today for a FREE quote on your waste disposal in NC, no contracts on medical waste disposal, no long term contracts, and flexible schedules for your biohazard disposal.
Introduction North Carolina Medical Waste Management:
This document is provided to help you understand the North Carolina medical waste management rules. If you would like further information, please contact the Solid Waste Section in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Contact Bill Patrakis at (919) 707-8290, email: email@example.com. You may also contact a local Waste Management Specialist in one of the seven DENR regional offices.
The Solid Waste Section regulates the packaging, labeling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of medical waste in North Carolina. Treatment, storage and disposal facilities that accept waste from outside of the facility cannot operate without a permit from the Solid Waste Section. Please read this entire document. Due to the complex nature of medical waste regulations, failure to read this entire document may result in failure to comply with the rules.
This guide is not intended as legal advice, but as an aid to understanding the current North Carolina medical waste management rules.
The medical waste management rules became effective October 1, 1990. The most recent amendments were made in April 1993.
Enforcement of the Rules:
The medical waste management rules are enforced by the Solid Waste Section and, in some cases, the local law enforcement authority.
Pre-Emption of Local Solid Waste Laws on Medical Waste
These rules pre-empt local solid waste laws on medical waste where local laws are more lenient.
Joint and Severe Liability:
Under state regulations a solid waste generator is responsible for the storage, collection and disposal of his or her solid waste. The generator is responsible for ensuring that solid waste is disposed at a site or facility that has all applicable permits required to receive waste. (15A NCAC 13B .0106)
Medical Waste Definition:
Medical waste means any solid waste which is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals, but does not include any hazardous waste identified or listed pursuant to this Article, radioactive waste, household waste as defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations § 261.4(b) (1) in effect on 1 July 1989, or those substances excluded from the definition of solid waste in this section. (NCGS 130A-290(a) (18)
Regulated Medical Waste Definition:
Regulated medical waste means blood and body fluids in individual containers in volumes greater than 20 ml, microbiological waste, and pathological waste that have not been treated pursuant to .1207. (.1207 is the definition of treatment - see rules on page 22.) Regulated medical waste must be treated prior to disposal. After treatment these wastes may be handled as general solid waste. (.1201(9))
Percentage of the Medical Waste Stream That Is Regulated Medical Waste:
Most medical waste may be handled as general solid waste and does not require treatment. Regulated medical waste makes up only a very small portion of the total medical waste stream. The percentage of a facility's waste stream comprised of regulated medical waste is dependent on the activities at that facility. Roughly 9 percent to 15 percent of the waste stream at hospitals is regulated medical waste. Some facilities, such as long-term care facilities, generate medical waste but little or no regulated medical waste.
Microbiological waste means cultures and stocks of infectious agents, including but not limited to specimens from medical, pathological, pharmaceutical, research, commercial and industrial laboratories. (.1201(5))
Pathological waste means human tissues, organs and body parts; and the carcasses and body parts of all animals that were known to have been exposed to pathogens that are potentially dangerous to humans during research, were used in the production of biologicals or in vivo testing of pharmaceuticals or that died of a known or suspected disease transmissible to humans. (.1201(9))
Blood and Body Fluids:
Blood and body fluids means liquid blood, serum, plasma, other blood products, emulsified human tissue, spinal fluids and pleural and peritoneal fluids. Dialysates are not blood or body fluids under this definition. Please note that the definition of regulated medical waste specifies blood and body fluids that are in a liquid state and in a container, such as a suction canister. This does not refer to blood absorbed by materials such as bandages and dressings. (Some waste items contaminated with blood may be subject to OSHA labeling requirements). (.1201(1))
Blood and Body Fluids in Individual Containers in Volumes Equal to or Less Than 20 ml:
These "containers" are commonly vacuum tubes used for blood samples. If not stored in a secured area, accessible only to authorized personnel, these containers must be packaged either in a container suitable for sharps or in a plastic bag in a rigid fiberboard box or drum. Treatment is not required prior to disposal. (.1202(c))
Medical waste such as dressings, bandages, gloves, tubing:
These items are not included in the definition of regulated medical waste and may be disposed without treatment. (.1201(10))
Urine and Feces:
Urine and feces should be disposed of through sanitary sewage or seepage disposal practices. Soiled diapers are not regulated medical waste and may be disposed as general solid waste.
Registration of Medical Waste Generators:
North Carolina does not require generators of medical waste to register.
Artificial Body Parts and Implants Removed or Replaced during Surgical Procedures Items such as artificial limbs and pacemakers are considered medical waste. However, they are not generally considered regulated medical waste because they do not fall within a class of regulated medical waste.
Medical Waste Reduction Techniques:
Information about medical waste reduction techniques is available from the Solid Waste Section and the Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance.
SHARPS Disposal North Carolina:
Sharps .1201(11) "Sharps" means and includes needles, syringes with attached needles, capillary tubes, slides and cover slips, and scalpel blades.
Disposal of Sharps:
The rules do not require treatment of sharps before disposal. They must be packaged in a container that is rigid, leak-proof when in an upright position and puncture resistant. The package then may be disposed of with general solid waste. (Generators should comply with any relevant OSHA requirements for labeling and packaging). (.1202(b)). Generators should contact local solid waste authorities to confirm that there are no local restrictions against this practice.
Compaction of Sharps:
Sharps cannot be processed in small compaction units inside the generating facility. The rule does not prohibit hauling sharps to the landfill on trucks that compact waste. Also, it does not prohibit processing sharps containers in large commercial compactors where the waste will be transported to a disposal facility without being transferred to another container. (.1202(b))
Sharps Generated in Private Households:
Household waste is not included in the definition of medical waste and is not subject to the medical waste management rules. However, home users of sharps are urged to place sharps in hard wall containers before disposal in order to protect garbage collectors from needle sticks. A few counties have imposed local restrictions on sharps disposed from private homes. Home healthcare agencies may find it prudent to assist in proper disposal of sharps used to administer care to patients in their homes. This is not specifically required by the rules. Used needles from farms are subject to the rules and are not considered household waste. Such waste is more similar to veterinary waste than household waste.
PACKAGING AND STORAGE:
Storage of Regulated Medical Waste That Will Be Shipped Off Site for Treatment
A waste generator who stores regulated medical waste that will be shipped off site for treatment must store the waste in a package suitable for transportation. (.1204(a)).
Packaging Requirements for Regulated Medical Waste Which Will Be Treated On Site
The packaging requirements in section .1204 only apply to regulated medical waste that is being shipped off site for treatment. There is no packaging requirement for regulated medical waste treated on site.
Packaging Regulated Medical Waste for Off-Site Treatment:
Regulated Medical Waste must be packaged in a plastic bag in a rigid fiberboard box or drum in a manner that prevents leakage of the contents. The outer surface must be labeled with a biohazard symbol; the words "INFECTIOUS WASTE" or "MEDICAL WASTE"; the date of shipment; and the name, address and phone number of the generator, transporter, storage facility and treatment facility. The medical waste management rules do not require a biohazard label on the plastic bag or use of red bags. However, generators should be aware that OSHA rules may require labeling of bags containing some types of medical waste. (.1204(a)(4)).
Storage of Regulated Medical Waste Prior to Shipment off Site for Treatment:
All medical waste, including regulated medical waste, must be stored in a manner so as not to create a nuisance either by noxious odors or by encouraging the presence of vermin. Regulated medical waste must be maintained in a non-putrescent state. Regulated medical waste must be stored in a manner that maintains the integrity, including labels and markings. Areas used to store regulated medical waste must be accessible only to authorized personnel. Vermin and insects must be controlled. All floor drains in the storage area must discharge directly to an approved sanitary sewer (sewer or septic system). Ventilation must be provided. A plan must be maintained at the facility to ensure proper management of regulated medical waste. (.1206) Storage Requirements for Medical Waste Which Is Not Classified as Regulated Medical Waste
If none of the medical waste being stored is regulated medical waste, the waste is subject to the storage requirements of general solid waste. As with regulated medical waste, non-regulated medical waste must be stored in a non-putrescent state, and vermin and insects must be controlled
Manifesting Requirements - North Carolina does not have a manifesting requirement and does not require "cradle to grave" tracking of medical waste. Generator Responsibilities for Proper Disposal by Commercial Facilities
Generators are responsible for ensuring that waste is disposed of properly. If there is any question about a commercial treatment facility's permit, please contact the Solid Waste Section. (15A NCAC 13B .0106)
Self-Transporting Regulated Medical Waste:
The requirements in Section .1205 apply to any person transporting waste off site for treatment. There are no manifest or registration requirements. Haulers must comply with any relevant Department of Transportation regulations.
Shipping Non-Regulated Medical Waste Off-Site for Treatment:
Only regulated medical waste is subject to the packaging, labeling and transportation requirements. Other waste may be handled as general solid waste so long as it meets applicable packaging requirements for sharps and containers of blood with 20 ml or less. Packaging and Labeling Requirements for Regulated Medical Waste That Will Be Treated On Site
Regulated medical waste that will be treated on site is not subject to the packaging and labeling requirements. Generators still must comply with any relevant OSHA requirements for packaging and labeling for workplace safety.
TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL of Medical Waste North Carolina:
Treatment Facilities for Regulated Medical Waste
Regulated Medical Waste may be treated on site or at a facility that is an integrated part of the generating facility (See .1201(3) for definition of integrated). Otherwise, it must be sent to a medical waste treatment facility permitted by the Solid Waste Section or by the state government where the waste is treated. Many generators choose to ship and incinerate non-regulated medical waste such as gloves, bloody bandages, dressings, and tubing. Generators who incur this expense should be reminded that this is not required by OSHA or any other state agency. Such waste may be landfilled untreated even though it may be designated as regulated waste by OSHA. (.1203(a))
Permitting of Medical Waste Treatment Facilities:
Solid waste permits are not required for facilities that treat only waste generated within the facility. Permits are required for facilities that treat medical waste generated off site and not within an integrated medical facility.
Disposal of Large Volumes of Blood and Body Fluids:
Incineration or sanitary sewage is acceptable treatments for blood and body fluids in individual containers in volumes greater than 20 ml. If neither of these options is available on site, a vendor must be obtained to treat the material.
Urine and Feces:
Disposal of Items Such as Bloody Gauze, Used Gloves, Tubing, and Dressings. These materials are not regulated medical waste and, therefore, do not have any specific treatment requirement. They may be disposed of as general solid waste. Note that some of these items may be subject to packaging and labeling requirements by OSHA. The Solid Waste Section does not recommend removing these labels at the point of disposal.
Arranging for Incineration of Regulated Medical Waste by a Neighboring Hospital:
Any facility treating waste that is generated off site and outside of an integrated medical facility must obtain a permit from the Solid Waste Section. All packaging, labeling, transportation, storage, and treatment requirements apply. The "50 Pound per Month" Record-Keeping Exemption
This exemption, in Section .1204(b), exempts generators from the record-keeping requirement if they ship less than 50 pounds per month of regulated medical waste. Rejection of Properly Packaged Sharps or Treated Regulated Medical Waste at the Local Municipal Landfill. Landfill operators have the right to reject any waste for disposal in the landfill, even if state regulations allow landfill disposal of such wastes.
Managing Medical Waste After It Has Been Treated:
Treated medical waste is subject to the same requirements as general solid waste. (.1203(c))
FUNERAL HOME PRACTICES:
Disposal of Regulated Medical Waste with Casketed Remains:
Caskets containing human remains were intended for interment or cremation, so they will not be regulated under the rules. Remains intended for disposal may not be placed in a casket as a means of disposal; such wastes are considered pathological wastes and are subject to all applicable requirements. Special Cases Where Religious Practices Require That a Body Be Interred with Removed Organs as Well as Tubing and Sharps These practices are acceptable. The rules are not intended to interfere with the religious preferences of any individual. Sharps Used During the Course of Preparing a Body for Interment, Including Scalpels, Needles and Other Instruments
These sharps are medical waste and therefore subject to all applicable requirements in the medical waste rules. (.1202(b) Using Crematoriums for Incineration of Regulated Medical Waste
Crematoriums do not meet the incineration requirements of the medical waste management rules.
Contracts with Commercial Medical Waste Treatment Companies to Treat Funeral Home Waste
With the exception of blood, which can be treated by sanitary sewer, most funeral homes do not generate regulated medical waste. Non-regulated medical waste may require special packaging (see .1202), but it does not require incineration.
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR TREATING WASTE GENERATED OFF-SITE – EXAMPLES:
Facility "G" (the generator) sends its regulated medical waste to facility "T" for treatment. What packaging, labeling, record-keeping, transportation and treatment requirements apply?
To answer this question, two determinations must be made:
1. Whether sites G and T are an "integrated medical facility" (See definition below); and
2. Whether G is "on-site" or "off-site" relative to facility T. That is, if you are at one facility, is the other on-site? (See definition below).
After determining whether a facility is an integrated medical facility and/or on or off- site, the table below may be used to find out what requirements apply. See examples.
Integrated Facility | Non-Integrated Facility | On-site
Exempt from packaging,labeling,storage, and record-keeping requirements. Exempt from packaging and labeling requirements. Subject to storage and record-keeping requirements. Treatment facility must hold a permit issued by the Solid Waste Section
Exempt from recordkeeping and storage requirements. Subject to packaging, labeling and transportation requirements. Subject to all packaging, labeling, storage, record-keeping and transportation requirements. Treatment facility must hold a permit issued by the Solid Waste Section.
Integrated medical facility means one or more health service facilities as defined in NCGS 131E-176(9b) that are:
(A) Located in a single county or two contiguous counties;
(B) affiliated with a university medical school or that are under common ownership and control; and
(c) Serve a single service area. (.1201(3))
"Health service facility" means a hospital; long-term care hospital; psychiatric facility; rehabilitation facility; nursing home facility; adult care home; kidney disease treatment center, including freestanding hemodialysis units; intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded; home health agency office; chemical dependency treatment facility; diagnostic center; hospice office, hospice inpatient facility, hospice residential care facility; and ambulatory surgical facility.NCGS 131E-176(9b))
Funeral homes, veterinary hospitals, dental and research labs are not integrated facilities.
On-site means the same or geographically contiguous property which may be divided by public or private right-of-way. (.1201(7))
Off-site means any site which is not on-site. (.1201(6))
The following examples will help to determine what requirements apply under a variety of situations.
Facility G is a hospital sending its pathological and microbiological waste across town to facility T, also a hospital, for treatment. G and T are under common ownership and in the same county but not on a geographically contiguous piece of property. What requirements apply?
Step 1. Are G and T an integrated medical facility?
Yes. G and T meet the three criteria for being an integrated facility - they are under common ownership, serve a single service area and are located in a single county.
Step 2. Are T and G on-site? (Or, if you are at facility T, is G on-site?)
No. The facilities are not on-site because they are not on a geographically contiguous piece of property.
Answer: The table shows facilities that are integrated and off-site are exempt from the record-keeping and storage requirements, but must comply with packaging, labeling and transportation requirements.
Facility G, a veterinary hospital, is sending animal carcasses that are infected with rabies to facility T, a hospital, for treatment. The facilities are not under common ownership and are on separately owned pieces of property that are geographically contiguous. What requirements apply?
Step 1. Are the facilities an integrated medical facility?
No. The facilities are not under common ownership. Furthermore, veterinary facilities are not included in the definition of a health care facility.
Step 2. Are the facilities on-site?
Yes. The facilities are on geographically contiguous property.
Answer: The facilities are non-integrated and on-site. The table shows they are exempt from the packaging and labeling requirements, but are not exempt from the storage and record-keeping requirement. Additionally, the treatment facility must hold a permit issued by the Solid Waste Section.
A university hospital, T, treats waste from a hospital affiliated lab, G, across campus. The campus is a geographically contiguous piece of property. What requirements apply?
Step 1. Are they an integrated medical facility?
Yes. The facilities are located in the same county, affiliated with a university medical school and serve the same area.
Step 2. Are the facilities on-site?
Yes. They are on a geographically contiguous piece of property.
Answer: The facilities are on-site and integrated. The table shows that they are exempt from packaging, labeling, storage and record-keeping requirements.
A pathology laboratory, G, sends regulated medical waste to a local hospital, T, across town. The pathology lab and the hospital are not under common ownership or on geographically contiguous property.
Step 1. Are the facilities integrated?
No. They are not under common ownership.
Step 2. Are the facilities on-site?
No. They are not on the same or geographically contiguous property.
Answer: The facilities are off-site and non-integrated. The table shows that they are each subject to the packaging, labeling, storage, record keeping and transportation requirements. The treatment facility would need a permit issued by the Solid Waste Section.
INTERFACE WITH OSHA REGULATIONS:
Impact of the OSHA Blood borne Pathogen Standards on Medical Waste Disposal Requirements
The new OSHA standards do not address disposal methods, and no changes have been made in state medical waste treatment and disposal rules. OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.44D states "that while OSHA specifies certain features of the regulated waste containers, including appropriate tagging, the ultimate disposal method (landfilling, incineration, and so forth) for medical waste falls under the purview of the EPA and possibly State and local regulations.
Comparison of the Definition of Regulated Medical Waste with the OSHA Definition of Regulated Waste
There are substantial differences in the two definitions. For example, the OSHA definition of regulated waste may include waste such as bloody gauze, blood-saturated dressings, used gloves, or tubing. These items are not included in the state definition of regulated medical waste and are exempt from treatment requirements. It is essential the generator understand both definitions. Generators who apply the OSHA definition of regulated waste to designate waste for treatment by incineration may unintentionally incur additional expense. The OSHA definition of regulated waste is not intended to designate waste that must be incinerated or otherwise treated before landfilling.
Disposal of Blood and Body Fluids into the Sanitary Sewer
The sanitary sewage treatment system is designed for disposal of body fluids. OSHA regulations do not address disposal and do not prohibit such disposal. Workers disposing blood are of course subject to OSHA requirements, such as wearing protective clothing.
Different Labeling Requirements
Generators must be familiar with both sets of requirements. OSHA may require a red bag or biohazard-labeled bag for some waste that can be safely disposed in the landfill without treatment. That could include properly containerized sharps, used gloves, bloody gauze and dressings, and properly containerized blood and body fluids in volumes of 20 mL or less. State waste disposal regulations require the words "INFECTIOUS WASTE" or "MEDICAL WASTE" on packages of regulated medical waste that are taken off site for treatment and disposal. State medical waste disposal regulations no longer require the use of red bags since the red dyes may contribute heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, to incinerator ash disposed in landfills. State solid waste goals include reducing the toxicity of landfilled waste. Users of red bags should check with their vendors to ensure they are using bags that do not create toxic residues after incineration.
Disposal of Red Bags That Contain Only Medical Waste Not Classified as Regulated Medical Waste by the State Medical Waste Management Definition
Bags that contain only non-regulated medical waste in accordance with state rules and are labeled as bio hazardous in the workplace are "over-labeled" for disposal purposes. Such labels were previously reserved to designate waste that was banned from the landfill and must be treated. Red bags and biohazard-labeled bags that contain only non-regulated medical waste may be disposed with general solid waste, provided no local rules prohibit it.
The Solid Waste Section has alerted North Carolina landfills to expect increased disposal of non-regulated medical waste in red bags or biohazard-labeled bags as the OSHA rules are implemented. In some counties, landfill operators initially may not accept such bags, even though they had previously accepted the same waste in plain, unlabeled bags. In most cases, this can be worked out through local discussions and better communications with the landfill. Landfill operation is regulated by the Solid Waste Section, and local waste management specialists are available to provide assistance, guidance, and education for landfill operators.
As described in paragraphs (g) (1) (I) (B), (C), (D), and (E) of the OSHA standards, the OSHA labeling requirements can be satisfied by the use of either red bags or bags with a biohazard label. Facilities sending waste to the landfill may find plain bags with the appropriate biohazard label an easy solution.
Risks to Waste Industry Workers
Waste transport and disposal is mechanized, and waste handlers are trained to safely deal with all types of waste that contain human pathogens. To keep things in perspective, it is important to realize that household garbage has on average 100 times more pathogenic microorganisms than general medical waste.
Problems with Using the OSHA Definition of Regulated Waste to Designate Waste That Must Be Treated and Cannot Be Disposed at the Landfill
The OSHA definition designates waste that poses a threat in the workplace, and does not designate waste that should be incinerated or treated by other means. Applying this definition to disposal would constitute imposing treatment requirements to additional categories of medical waste. Requiring treatment of very broad categories of medical waste may increase waste management costs substantially, while providing no benefit for the environment or public health.
Adopting Uniform Definitions for the Department of Labor and Department of Environment and Natural Resources
The rules do not conflict, but they address two entirely different concerns. Federal OSHA rules address waste management in the workplace to ensure worker safety; state solid waste management rules ensure storage, shipping, and disposal practices that protect the environment and public health. Categories of waste that present special infectious hazards in the workplace do not necessarily present the same hazards to the environment or public health once in the
Sunday, April 19 2015
In the United States, hospital patients get an estimated 722,000 infections each year. That’s about 1 infection for every 25 patients. Infections that patients get in the hospital can be life-threatening and hard to treat. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections.
Healthcare providers should practice hand hygiene at key points in time to disrupt the transmission of microorganisms to patients including: before patient contact; after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (even if gloves are worn); before invasive procedures; and after removing gloves (wearing gloves is not enough to prevent the transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings). For a full list of hand hygiene indications, please see the recommendations here.
Hand-washing by health care workers — or their failure to do so — has received repeated attention by the media. But the hand-washing compliance rate remains frustratingly low — as little as 30 percent of the time that health care workers interact with patients. That’s right; less than a third of the time they interact with patients, doctors and nurses fail to wash their hands. Hand-washing is the first line of defense against health care acquired infections. Hand-washing can save lives and prevent life-long disabilities due to infections.
A recent article in The New York Times details the lengths to which some hospitals are willing to go to ensure their employees are performing this simple yet life-saving task. As absurd as it sounds, one hospital monitors its employees via video. Workers in India then monitor the videos and report hand-washing compliance statistics back to the hospital. That’s a mind-boggling use of outsourced labor, but the real story is that hand-washing compliance is still unacceptably low, and this has to change.
Hospitals use different methods to try to raise hand-washing compliance of health care workers and doctors, who have the lowest compliance levels. The Greater New York Hospital Association, for example, trains some of its employees to be hand-washing “coaches,” who give out red cards or gold stars to other employees based on their hand-hygiene compliance. It sort of sounds like the rewards we remember from grade school, but if it works to increase hand-hygiene compliance it’s a win for patients.
Another incentive for hospitals to figure out ways to get workers to wash their hands comes in the form of payment incentives: The largest payer of health care, Medicare, no longer reimburses hospitals for treatment associated with certain infections acquired in a hospital. In the near future, the program will further cut payments to hospitals with the worst infection rates. We think that this is a good thing and hope to see even more action by hospitals to prevent infections on every floor in every ward.
It’s encouraging to see hospitals trying new things to improve hand-washing compliance, but it’s disappointing that this is still a problem and that patients continue to pay the price when doctors and health care workers fail to clean their hands.
Patients and their loved ones can play a role in helping to prevent infections by practicing hand hygiene themselves as well as asking or reminding their healthcare providers to perform hand hygiene.
Wednesday, April 01 2015
How to pack Biohazard and Medical waste box in North Carolina
All North Carolina Healthcare facility’s that generate Biohazard waste are responsible for preparing the red biohazard bag waste for pickup. Commonly called “packaging” medical biohazard waste. Proper packaging begins with ensuring appropriate setup, proper types of red bags, and acceptable disposal of items in the red biohazard bag, such as Biohazard, Medical and Sharps container waste.
5 Easy "Steps" to help with the packing of your biohazard Medical waste in North Carolina.
Packing instructions in general for most Regulated Medical Waste fall within DOT rules, but things do change. Check with DOT Department Of Transportation and in addition any local State Rules & Regulations in North Carolina for packing and transporting medical waste. Here are general guidelines and should not be considered the most up to date rules. Contact us for more information in North Carolina for your Healthcare facility and Biohazard Waste packaging.
Using a standard 30 gallon corrugated biohazard box. Turnover and seal the bottom flaps with 2-inch wide, clear, packing tape Top and bottom are distinguished by the printed arrows and text on the box. If you are using a reusable Biohazard tub, no setup is required.
Use a red biohazard bag to line the inside of your container, with the 4 sides overlapping the container’s outer sides. Be sure to comply with all state-specific requirements for thickness of the red bio-hazard bags and be sure not to exceed the weight limitations of the container.
Don’t place medications, loose needles or other sharps, trash, recycling; trace chemotherapy, or pathological waste in the red medical waste bag. Do place sealed puncture-resistant, disposable sharps containers in the red bag. Identify pathological waste or trace chemotherapy waste for incineration and also package it separately from other red bag waste that is not destined for incineration.
While wearing proper PPE -gloves mask and eye protections gather the 4 edges of the red bag from the sides of the container. Twist the top of the bag to seal its contents. Secure the seal with a strong, hand-tied single or goose-neck knot to prevent any leakage if inverted. You can also use a zip tie or 2” packing tape to secure the knot. Ensure that the bag is completely closed.
For corrugated Biohazard boxes, seal the top of the box with the 2-inch wide, clear packing tape. For reusable container, secure the lid, and engage all closures and locking.
Saturday, March 14 2015
North Carolina Safe Sharps
The Problem With Sharps Needles In North Carolina
Each year, some 8 million home syringe users administer at least 3 billion injections outside of traditional healthcare facilities. The vast majority are at home injections for diabetes, allergies, arthritis, migraines, HIV and other medical issues.
In North Carolina these needles are then tossed into the public solid waste system – into trash cans, old milk cartons and plastic bottles; flushed down the toilet; or discarded in ways (often unknowingly) that pose the risk of injury or infection to others when containers break open or are mistakenly sent to the wrong facilities. The headlines are filled with stories of janitors, housekeepers and even children who have been seriously injured by discarded needles. Many other workers – those on sorting floors, in recycling lines and landfill operations – are also placed unnecessarily at risk.
Despite the growing problems associated with improper disposal of sharps, there are no consistent regulations or guidelines for their safe disposal in North Carolina.
Carolina Biohazard Sharps servcie will collect and properly dispose of these sharps in a community outreach “Safe Sharps Program In Lumberton North Carolina.”
Individuals can purchase sharps containers from us. Once full, bring the canisters (or any approved sharps container) to the IQ Environmental treatment facility and we will dispose of them properly at no charge for city residents, non commercial healthcare providers.
In addition, we will publish a list periodically where we will be located and containers can be dropped off at locations around the North Carolina area free of charge.
Sunday, March 01 2015
Resolutions on early implementation of federal standards for medical waste incinerators
Adopted on May 17 requiring Stericycle to comply with the new and more protective EPA rules by 2012 instead of 2014.
North Carolina is home to three of the nation’s “still-in-use” commercial, medical waste incinerators. Stericycle operates two medical waste incinerators, located in Haw River, NC, two of the largest in the country. Stericycle is located less than a quarter mile from the Alamance Community College, within the Graham, NC, city limits. Medical waste from 24 states is shipped to Stericycle. The third, commercial medical waste incinerator, the BMWNC, is located in Matthews, NC. The BMWNC is about half the size of Stericycle, and takes medical waste from 12 states. Like the Stericycle medical waste incinerator, the BMWNC medical waste incinerator is located in a rural area of Matthews, among homes and schools, about a block away from the Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).
Monday, February 23 2015
North Carolina and Biohazard Medical Waste Solutions
Due to the nature of their work in North Carolina, hospitals produce a variety of waste substances, including biological wastes, needles, and discarded drugs. Because these substances can be hazardous if not disposed of properly in North Carolina, hospitals must create a stringent waste management program to ensure the safe and efficient disposal of dangerous wastes
Typical Waste Classifications in North Carolina:
The World Health Organization (WHO) categorizes waste substances produced by hospitals according to their density and constitution. Wastes are divided into the following groups: infectious, sharps, pathological, pharmaceuticals, radioactive, and others. Infectious waste substances are those containing pathogens that have the potential to spread infectious diseases to the hospital patients and staff as well as to the general public if they are left unattended. Surgical waste is an example of infectious waste. Needles, syringes, and other operation theater substances that could cause cuts and eventually, infection, are called sharps. Pathological wastes are body parts, tissues, organs, fetuses, body fluids, and other types of human waste. Pharmaceutical wastes are substances such as medicines and chemicals. Radioactive wastes are substances that contain radioactive materials, such as X-rays, radiotherapy, and so on. Finally, apart from these substances, other types of miscellaneous waste are sometimes present, including items such as bedding and laundry/kitchen wastes.
Typical North Carolina Biological Waste:
Biological wastes are substances that are contaminated by biohazard material. Examples include syringes, needles, surgical swabs, cultural tubes, absorbent pads, and blood vials. Their potential to cause infections is greater, because they could potentially cause diseases such as AIDS.
Biological wastes in hospitals are classified as Category 1 and Category 2. The first category includes those substances that are harmful if released into the environment. The second contains non-infectious substances such as body parts and animal tissue.
Importance of Waste Management Objectives:
Hospitals produce a vast amount of potentially dangerous wastes. Because there are so many people working in hospitals, serving all different types of functions, everyone from the doctor to the janitor needs to know the proper protocols for disposing of dangerous wastes. Otherwise, the wastes could pose problems for the hospital staff and/or public by making them vulnerable to infectious diseases such as AIDS, typhoid, boils, and Hepatitis A or B. For example, dioxin, a product of burnt plastics, can also cause cancer, birth defects, and related problems. Therefore, plastics must be disposed of differently then other waste products.
Objectives For Biohazard Solutions In North Carolina:
Objectives for managing waste in hospitals deal with the problem of waste disposal at several levels. The objectives are based on the premise that not all wastes should be treated equally. A practical and useful waste management systems is one that takes all of the related factors, such as differences in wastes and dangers of waste, into consideration. In most hospitals, the overall goals or objectives include: 1) reducing risks and liabilities; 2) controlling costs; 3) planning for the future; and 4) coordinating with the respective government department or institution for better waste management practices.
Implementing waste management strategies in hospitals is grounded in a process chain that includes many steps, including generation, segregation (removing hazardous wastes for treatment), collection, storage, processing transport, treatment, and disposal. Many hospitals also focus on educating management and staff, emphasizing concepts such as reuse, recycling, and segregation
Sunday, February 08 2015
10 Ways You Could be Overpaying For Medical Waste Disposal In North Carolina
The disposal of your medical waste shouldn’t be overly expensive in North Carolina.
As long as you’re doing so correctly and cost efficiently. If it feels like you’re being charged through the nose for your medical waste disposal, you could be making one of the following eleven common mistakes. The good news is that many money-saving techniques are simple to habitualize. It might take a little extra planning and effort, but reversing your expensive disposal mistakes can save you a huge chunk of change in the long run. The 10 Medical Waste Disposal Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
1. You don’t follow DOT guidelines – From correctly packaging waste for transporting to manifesting the entire medical waste disposal process, there are many rules you must follow to comply with the Department of Transportation guidelines. Penalties for failing to comply with DOT guidelines can cost you up to $15,000 per violation per day. You can read the top five mistakes people make when transporting medical waste here.
2. You don’t follow DNR Guidelines – In addition to DOT guidelines, the Department of Natural Resources has a set of strict rules for proper medical waste disposal. Often, the DNR checks your compliance during an audit. If you are audited and found to be non-compliant with the state or federal DNR’s guidelines, penalties can be drastic – sometimes as much as $10,000 to $25,000 per violation per day. For a list of the top 12 questions the DNR asks when conducting an audit, read this post.
3. You don’t use an MWRS Sharps program – If you dispose of a small amount of sharps at home or at your business, MWRS kits are a great way to cut your disposal costs nearly in half. MWRS kits are certified sharps and infectious medical waste collection containers that meet DOT and USPS shipping requirements. Once you fill a container, you ship it to a waste disposal company, who will alert you when they receive it (for manifestation purposes). This post details exactly how the program works and how it can slash your disposal costs.
4. You don’t use a sharps return program – While not every city or county runs a sharps return program, they can save you even more money on sharps disposal than an MWRS kit. Sharps return programs let you drop off sharps containers at designated sites that store your waste and arrange pickup with a medical waste disposal company. Unlike the MWRS kits, you don’t even need to pay shipping fees. You simply have to drop your container off. Typical drop-off sites vary, but often include clinics, hospitals or pharmacies. In Madison, you can drop off your waste at the following designated pharmacies.
5. You don’t segregate waste – Mixing your infectious medical waste with non-medical waste is a common mistake that increases your disposal costs. Because disposal cost is often determined by weight, adding unnecessary pounds to your medical waste leads to unnecessary expenses.
6. You don’t consolidate waste – If your business includes multiple clinics, consolidate the waste into one disposal proposal instead of calling a service to remove waste from each site individually. By gathering your waste at a central location for pick up, you’ll save your medical waste disposal company transportation time, which means a better rate for you.
7. You dispose of waste too frequently – The more often a service picks up waste from your facility, the more money you pay for transportation. Larger waste containers increase the amount of waste you can store, lengthening storage time and decreasing costly pickups.
8. You don’t bid out work – Instead of using the same waste disposal company every time, call a new company and give them a price to beat. Describe the services you need and tell them what you’ve paid other companies in the past.
9. You’re paying monthly fees – Don’t solicit any medical waste disposal companies that charge a monthly flat rate or minimum service fee. These companies will charge you for a full month of service even if you don’t use them that month.
10. You’re not using a call-only service – On the flip side, companies that charge monthly fees are those that charge you only when you need them. These companies allow a customer to go “on call,” giving you flexibility and control over how much you pay and when. 11. You’re getting nailed by hidden fees – Any time you solicit a medical waste disposal company, be sure to ask them about any additional fees on top of the quoted price. Some companies charge additional energy, fuel or government fees without being upfront. It’s not difficult to cut down on unnecessarily high medical waste disposal costs. By avoiding these
Sunday, December 14 2014
EBOLA Disposal And North Carolina
Carolina Biohazard Disposal A Leading Provider For Waste Management
How to get rid of Ebola waste from hospital settings and physicians’ offices. This is a very difficult question right now, Medical Waste transporters are not transporting this waste or are not allowed to transport Ebola waste because the Federal Government is not letting them, also could be insurance risk reasons not allowing a contractor to remove, transport and dispose of EBOLA waste in North Carolina.
Many hospitals may not be aware of the Federal guidelines that prevent waste disposal contractors removing any waste products that may be contaminated with Ebola. Experts fear this could cause huge problems should Ebola get to the United States.
Emory Hospital staff were dispatched to Home Depot and instructed to buy as many 32 gallon rubber waste barrels with lids as they could get their hands on. They then packed the waste into the barrels and kept them in a containment area for SIX DAYS until the problem was resolved. “Our waste management obstacles and the logistics we had to put in place were amazing,” Patricia Olinger, director of environmental health and safety at Emory, said in an interview. The CDC stepped in and eventually Stericycle removed the waste. The issue has occurred because of Department of Transport rules on how Category A clinical waste can be transported and who it can be transported by. Category A waste requires special packaging and those moving the waste, and transporting it has to have full Hazmat training. The CDC state there is no recommended packaging that is no packaging that is currently approved for transporting Ebola waste and this is what lead to Stericycle refusing to handle the waste materials.
The Emory University Hospital was able to sterilize all the waste in a massive autoclave before handing it over to Stericycle for incineration…but very few hospitals have the ability to do this on site, which leads back to the transportation issues. “For this reason, it would be very difficult for a hospital to agree to care for Ebola cases – this desperately needs a fix,” said Dr Jeffrey Duchin, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Public Health Committee. Dr Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, an expert on public health preparedness at Pennsylvania State University, said there’s “no way in the world” that US hospitals are ready to treat patients with highly infectious diseases like Ebola. (My emphasis) The Department of Transport and The National Waste Recycling Association are in talks with the CDC in an attempt to resolve the situation but in the meantime both groups insist they are bound by the regulations. If two patients generate 40 bags a day of infectious waste you can imagine what 20 patients would generate, or 200. Learn how to better prepare for pandemics and other short and long term disasters. Or, purchase best-seller The Prepper’s Blueprint to have pertinent prepper information at your fingertips when you need it the most.
Carolina Waste Disposal
Sunday, December 14 2014
North Carolina Medical Waste Disposal
Rules & Regulations for the disposal of-Regulated Medical Waste or (RMW) in North Carolina. Please review information provided for the disposal of medical waste in North Carolina, for more information contact NCDENR or Carolina Biohazard Disposal Directly Toll Free: 855-233-2229
The North Carolina Medical Waste Rules cover all aspects of medical waste management including: packaging, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal. The medical waste management regulations are found in 15A NCAC 13B. Medical waste is regulated as solid waste and not as hazardous waste.
•Section .1200 Rules
Medical Waste Management Rules
•Section .1300 Rules
Disposition of Remains of Terminated Pregnancies
Medical waste is also subject to all general requirements for solid waste found in the solid waste management regulations. The NC medical waste management regulations are administered by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Waste Management. New! Medical Waste -FAQ- Maybe your question is answered here!
Contact: NCDENR. (919-707-8290)
Disposers should be aware that other agencies have additional requirements for some aspects of medical waste management. These include:
•USEPA- While medical waste disposal is not regulated by the EPA their web site has useful information and links.
•OSHA- These regulations include information about labeling and packaging of medical waste.
•DOT has regulations on medical waste transport. Enter "regulated medical waste" in the search box to find the information.
•N.C. Hazardous Waste Section - Administers the RCRA Subtitle C program which regulates some types of waste from medical facilities including some chemotherapy waste.
Carolina Waste Disposal
Saturday, December 13 2014
Biohazard Waste Management And Sharps Disposal NC
When choosing a medical or biohazard waste disposal company in North Carolina, many things come into question. Here are some helpful things to consider, before you sign another contract with a waste disposal company in NC.
Right-Size Company for Services Needed:
The Pitfalls of Our Industry & Ways to Avoid Them:
The more often a medical waste provider comes to your location, the more you will spend. If you have multiple bio-containers picked up at once you will save money. It is also important to note you may be placing things into your biohazard container that aren’t considered regulated medical waste or (RMW).
At Carolina Biohazard Disposal there is only one charge for your service and it is All-Inclusive. You will not find unexpected or hidden fees on your invoice.
Custom Fit to Your Needs:
You deserve a service that fits your practice/ business. Over time needs can change. We understand this and we give you the flexibility to make changes in your service plan as needed, with no penalty for doing so. We consistently work with you to customize the service and frequency to fit your individual needs.
Other providers and pricing, if you are currently with a different provider, consider if you are being charged per month or per pick-up. Make sure to look closely at your invoice to see if there are other charges such as environmental fees, stop fees or documentation fees. Also, find out if you are being charged for compliance or other training you may not have signed on for.
These are just a few items you should be reviewing when negotiating with your currant medical waste provider or when shopping for a new one. For more information, feel free to contact Carolina biohazard disposal for a review and price analysis of your individual disposal needs.
Carolina Waste Disposal