A look at medical waste regulations in the state of Iowa.
Medical waste management in the state of Iowa is regulated under the state’s solid waste program, and infectious waste is considered “special waste.” Of course, special waste is rather broad in Iowa; this pertains to waste that cannot be put into a landfill, at least without treatment. Special waste includes industrial process waste, pollution control waste, and toxic waste, the latter of which medical waste falls under.
Like other states we’ve discussed, in Iowa medical waste includes:
- Contaminated sharps and sharps items, such as suture needles, hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, and pipettes;
- Cultures and stocks of infectious agents, whether from research and industrial laboratories, wastes from the production of biological agents, discarded live vaccines, and culture dishes;
- Blood and blood products;
- Pathological wastes are human tissues and body parts that are removed during surgery or autopsy.
Generators of medical waste must apply for a Special Waste Authorization (SWA) permit. SWA must include specific information, such as chemical analysis of the waste, weight or volume of the waste, material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the waste, and toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test results, if appropriate.
Infectious waste which is generated and treated at a medical clinic, doctor’s office, nursing care facility, health care facility, dentist’s office or other similar facility may be placed with municipal solid waste and not handled in a special way so long as it is free from pathogens and infection. It must not contain free liquids. Sharps must be shredded, blunted, granulated, incinerated or mechanically destroyed.
In addition to the state medical waste environmental regulations there are some Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules that apply to medical/infectious waste. Iowa is one of 21 states operating an approved occupational safety and health program.
Do you know the medical waste requirements in your state? Confused about some of the broader federal laws? Contact Red Bags today and we’ll make sure your facility is in compliance with all state and federal laws.
- The Four Types of Medical Waste
- Choosing the Right Sharps Containers for Your Facility
- What Happens to Medical Waste Eventually?
- Is Medical Waste Pollution a Problem in the U.S.?