Chemotherapy medical waste is hazardous because it is pharmaceutical waste that includes drugs which can be harmful when in contact.
Medical waste segregation is the practice of separating all hazardous solid and non-solid waste into clearly marked containers for proper handling, processing, and disposal. Following these rules will keep the public and the environment safe.
In our Medical Waste Segregation Series, we’re walking through the various color-coded container options and what they mean. This post is dedicated to yellow containers which are reserved for trace chemotherapy products.
Chemotherapy medical waste is hazardous because it is pharmaceutical waste that includes drugs which can be harmful when coming into contact. As such, this waste must be separated, handled properly and incinerated for proper disposal by a professional waste disposal company.
Types of waste from chemotherapy that should be placed in the yellow containers include empty vials, syringes, and IVs as well as gowns, gloves, and tubing used for chemotherapy drugs and wipes, aprons and packaging. It is critical that this waste is not mixed with other containers for sharps as they do not undergo the same disposal process and can put others at risk.
Unlike the black containers which are used for bulk chemo waste, these yellow containers are for holding what is considered to be trace or residual only chemo waste. Incineration is the only way to properly dispose of them.
Check with your local state for additional labeling and rules regarding disposal for trace chemotherapy waste.
Proper management of pharmaceutical and medical wastes is critical in today’s hospitals and healthcare facilities. The general public, workers in these facilities and the environment are at risk without these systems in place.
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