South Dakota Medical Waste Requirements

A look at South Dakota medical waste requirements.

South Dakota medical waste is regulated by the state’s Department of Environment of Natural Resources.  The state follows federal standards in terms of medical waste definitions, and the list of infectious waste generally includes “…any waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, including related research, and production or testing of biologicals.”  It does not include any hazardous waste, radioactive waste, or household waste, as these are managed differently.

More specifically, medical waste includes:

  • Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals
  • Pathological waste
  • Human blood and blood products
  • Sharps
  • Animal waste that are known to be contaminated with human pathogens

Similarly to other states, the storage of medical waste prior to disposal is an important part of infection control.  All medical waste containers must be rigid, leak-resistant, impervious to moisture, resistant to tearing or bursting under normal conditions of use and handling, and sealed to prevent leakage during transport.  Facilities are allowed to reuse containers, so long as containers are disinfected if the container shows signs of visible contamination.

All storage containers must be stored in an area that will not compromise the integrity of the packaging, and of course provide protection from the elements.  Said containers must also be maintained in a non-putrescent state, using refrigeration when necessary.

Proper labeling is required for all medical waste to indicate its contents; labels must include the words “Medical Waste” or “Infectious Waste” or display the universal biohazard symbol.

Generators of medical waste are allowed to operate a medical waste incinerator on-site for the disposal of regulated medical waste.  Anything treated off-site requires special permits for storage, transportation, and treatment.

South Dakota is also one of 26 states covered entirely by the federal OSHA program.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules govern many aspects of medical/infectious waste storage and disposal, including the management of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store medical/infectious waste, the labeling of medical/infectious waste bags/containers, and employee training.

On both the federal and local level, there are multiple agencies that regulate medical waste disposal.  Most medical waste generators choose to hire a compliant medical waste disposal company to take care of the complicated disposal process for them so they adhere to their state’s requirements.

Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.

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South Dakota Medical Waste

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