A look at Maryland medical waste requirements.

Medical waste handling and disposal in the state of Maryland is handled by the Department of the Environment.

Much like other states in the U.S., Maryland defines medical waste as anatomical material, which is human or animal body parts, including tissues and organs, blood and blood-soiled articles, as well as laboratory waste, sharps, and surgical instruments. The only exceptions to medical waste definitions per the state include household waste, and any waste under 50 pounds per calendar month.

Any facility that is deemed a generator of medical waste must obtain an identification number and keep stringent records of medical waste storage, disposal, and treatment. Generators may not treat, store, dispose of, transport, or offer for transportation of medical waste without having the proper paperwork and filings per the state.

Generators must place blood and blood-soiled articles in containers that will prevent blood from spilling or leaking. Anatomical materials must be placed in leak-proof bags, such as red bags, which must be stored in a clearly labeled rigid container.  Sharps must be stored in a container which is impervious to puncture, such as a sharps container.

All medical waste must be treated prior to disposal, either by autoclaving, chemical disinfection, or mechanical destruction. Other approved treatment methods include cremation and other disinfection methods.

After treatment, medical waste can be disposed of by burying, incineration, or by bringing it to an approved landfill or other facility that accepts treated solid waste.

The state of Maryland also explicitly outlines record keeping and retention policies, which includes test results and waste analyses for at least 3 years from the date that the waste was last sent to on-site or off-site treatment, storage, or disposal.

Individual states are responsible for the regulation of medical waste, and many vary greatly in their requirements.  Always check with your state departments for compliance and safety and how these laws affect your medical waste facility.

Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.

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