Obviously, healthcare activities generate waste, but did you know that only about 20% of these hospital wastes are biohazard wastes that could be infectious, toxic, or radioactive?
Though 20% doesn’t seem like it’s a whole lot, hospitals produce about 5.9 million tons of waste annually, which means that about 1,070,477,990 kilograms of biohazard waste produced each year.
Naturally, there’s a huge demand for hospital waste management. Yet few actually know what medical waste disposal methods are actually employed to deal with the heavy amount of biohazard waste.
Here are just a few of the most successful medical waste disposal solutions currently used in the industry today.
Autoclaving — which uses a heated container to destroy waste — is one of the most effective ways to deal with biohazard wastes. In fact, about 90% of biohazard waste is autoclaved or incinerated at roughly 2,400 medical waste incinerators (MWI) across the United States.
Some types of biohazard waste, like solid animal wastes, can be disinfected chemically. Afterwards, they can be deposited in a landfill, where they won’t pose any threat of spreading infections.
One type of biohazard waste known as sharps requires that special precautions be taken. Sharps are, as the name implies, sharp, and can easily tear or puncture what’s containing them, which can consequentially allow them to easily spread infection.
Used syringes, scalpels, and other sharp medical materials need to be encapsulated in a properly labeled, puncture resistant container, and placed in an appropriately designated spot for deposition in a landfill.
With such incredible, massive amounts of dangerous medical wastes produced each year, hospitals need safe, effective ways to dispose of them. Each of these methods ensures that infections aren’t spread to staff, patients, or the general public.