A look at Maine medical waste requirements.
Maine’s medical waste disposal regulations are managed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection under the Waste Management Division. The EPA adopted the Biomedical Waste Management Rules in 1989 with an effective date of 1991 and it covers packaging, labeling, handling, storage, transportation, and treatment requirements.
The generator of biomedical waste, whether a hospital, physician’s office, long-term healthcare facility, or other is responsible for the appropriate segregation, packaging, labeling, storage, handling, transport, and treatment of biomedical waste.
Biomedical waste, or infectious waste includes discarded blood, serum, plasma, blood products, and body fluids. Body-fluids are defined as fluids which are generated or removed during surgery, autopsy, obstetrics, emergency care, or embalming and include cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid and amniotic fluid. It also includes items soiled by infectious waste, such as sponges, surgical gloves and masks, drapes, aprons, dressings, disposable sheets and towels, underpads, plastic tubing, suction canisters, and used syringes without needles.
As for storage, medical waste other than sharps and bulk liquids must be packaged in bags, which are impervious to moisture and have a strength sufficient to resist ripping, tearing, or bursting under normal conditions of usage and handling. Discarded sharps will be placed directly into leak-resistant, rigid, puncture-resistant containers without clipping or breaking.
Infectious waste must be treated before disposal. Acceptable treatment measures include incineration or interment. Cultures and stocks should be autoclaved.
Generators of medical waste must also have a medical waste plan, which must include policies and procedures consistent with Maine’s regulations for managing biomedical waste.
Are you familiar with your state’s medical waste requirements and regulations? What types of waste does your state’s rules cover? Who must register? Is a biomedical waste management plan required?
Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.
- The Four Types of Medical Waste
- What Is NOT Considered Medical Waste?
- Top 5 Medical Waste Violations: Is Your Facility Guilty?
- Choosing the Right Sharps Containers for Your Facility