A look at Rhode Island medical waste requirements.

Rhode Island medical waste disposal regulations are managed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Waste Management, and it covers the generation, storage, disposal, and treatment of all medical waste.

Medical waste, or regulated medical waste, consists of waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, as well as the production or testing of biologicals.  It also includes waste that results in the development of pharmaceuticals.

Like other states, waste items include cultures and stocks, blood products, human pathological waste, sharps waste, including pipettes, blades, and scalpels, as well as spill cleanup materials.

Medical waste generators must also segregate all of their waste for not only safety, but compliance as well. The following categories are the groups that generators should use:

  • Sharps and unused sharps, including sharps containing residual fluid
  • Fluids in bulk quantities
  • Human Pathological wastes
  • Other regulated medical wastes

Regulated medical waste shall be properly packaged to assure effective containment throughout the handling, storage, transport, and treatment process. Containers must be rigid, leak-resistant, impervious to moisture, and sealed to prevent leakage during transport.

Regulated medical waste must be stored in such a way that maintains the integrity of the packaging, and must provide protection from flooding and from adverse weather conditions. On-site storage areas must be restricted to authorized personnel only.

Acceptable forms of treatment include incineration, autoclaving, and other chemical disinfection methods, so long as the waste is rendered harmless before disposing of it in general waste.

Rhode Island is also one of 26 states covered entirely by the federal OSHA program, which means OSHA rules and standards will affect how generators handle their medical/infectious waste. This also includes the management of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store medical/infectious waste, and the labeling of medical/infectious waste bags/containers, as well as employee training.

Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.

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Rhode Island Medical Waste

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