WasteWhen visiting a doctor’s office or a medical facility you may have noticed the special containers and wondered where does all that waste go? Who manages it? Is it hurting the environment?

Well according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), when biomedical waste is improperly managed, it places health care workers, sanitation workers, and the general public at risk for contracting dangerous diseases. Of course nobody wants that, so here are the 3 things you should know about bio hazard waste:

1) What is a bio hazard?
According to Wiki on bio hazards, it refers to a biological substances that poses a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. This can include medical waste or samples of a microorganism, virus or toxin (from a biological source) that can affect human health (a biological contamination). It can also include substances harmful to animals.

2) What items are considered a bio hazard in the state of Florida?
Here are some of the items listed according to the Florida Department of Health:

  • Visibly Bloody Gloves
  • Bloody Plastic Tubing
  • Contaminated PPE
  • Saturated Gauze
  • Saturated Bandages
  • Blood & Body Fluids
  • Closed Sharps – Disposable Containers

3) Can I throw these items out myself?
No. Each of these hazards must be handled by licensed professionals within 30 days of being disposed of (according to FL law) in the proper manner. There are a number of companies that provide this service, however make sure they are properly licensed and professional.

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