A look at North Dakota medical waste requirements.
Infectious waste, or medical waste in the state of North Dakota is governed by the state’s Department of Health.
Infectious waste, per the state’s definitions, is any waste that “…may contain pathogens with sufficient virulence and in sufficient quantity that exposure of a susceptible human or animal to the solid waste could cause the human or animal to contract an infectious disease.” This includes human blood and blood products, cultures and stocks, sharps, animal waste, as well as unused sharps.
Like other states, it is up to the generator to manage the collection, disposal, and treatment of medical waste.
As with all medical waste, infectious waste must be separated from other wastes and placed in containers that are distinctly different and denote its contents. They must not leak and be puncture-resistant and tear-resistant, and contain obvious markings, such as a red or orange bag with the biohazard symbol. Bags and containers holding regulated infectious waste must be tied, closed, or sealed securely to prevent leakage. For sharps waste, generators must separate sharps, have them disinfected onsite, and rendered “non-sharp” before disposal. If not treating on site, generators can use a sharps container and use a third-party disposal company to handle the waste.
Some states require that generators dispose of waste within a specific time frame, however in North Dakota, there are no maximum time limits that medical waste may be stored by generators. The only requirement is that said waste must be maintained in a “non-putrescent” state, and using refrigeration when necessary.
Medical waste must be incinerated or disinfected by other means, such as autoclaving. In terms of responsibility, generators are responsible for the storage, collection, and disposal of their infectious waste. Generators are also responsible for ensuring that infectious waste is transported offsite for treatment by a permitted transporter and disposed at a site or facility which has all applicable permits required to manage infectious waste. This is known as cradle to grave processing, which means the generator of the medical waste is ultimately liable for the waste, from point of origin until its final disposal.
While all states follow the required federal guidelines for medical waste disposal, many have their own requirements, some of which differ greatly from one to the next. How familiar are you with your state’s medical waste requirements?
Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.
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