Believe it or not, there are about 2 million tons of medical wastes produced every year, 20% of which is considered to be infectious, toxic, or even radioactive. This means that every year, 800 million pounds of dangerous biohazard wastes are produced.
Though each health care facility has a medical waste treatment company helping it dispose of these hazardous materials, not every single piece of dangerous waste gets taken care of properly.
In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that in the year 2000 alone, syringes that hadn’t been properly disposed of wound up causing 21 million hepatitis B virus infections, 2 million hepatitis C virus infections, and 260,000 HIV infections around the world.
The saddest part is that medical waste removal isn’t hard to do properly. You just need to know how to do it.
If you have to dispose of medical materials at home, here are a few tips on the treatment of medical waste to help you take care of things properly.
How to Get Rid of Sharps
If you need to dispose of needles, syringes, lancets, or other sharp medical waste, you need to put them in a puncture-proof plastic container.
The proper treatment of medical waste such as this then calls for you to tape the lid closed, and store it away from children. When ready to be tossed, the whole container should be put in with the other trash.
How to Get Rid of Contaminated Materials
The proper treatment of medical waste like soiled or bloody gauze, gloves, and bandages requires the patient to put the materials in a sealed bag, and put it in a trashcan with a tight lid to avoid attracting animals.
How to Get Rid of Medications
In order to handle the proper treatment of medical waste like expired, unused, or unwanted medicines, the patient must first take them out of their containers, and mix them with either kitty litter or old coffee grounds. Then, it should all be put into a sealed bag and placed in regular trash.
Though most people think the treatment of medical wastes like these would be to flush them, the Food and Drug Administration advises against it.
In order to prevent accidents, patients need to properly dispose of their medical wastes. If you have any questions about the proper treatment of medical wastes, feel free to ask in the comments.