The West Virginia Infectious Medical
Waste program places a great deal of emphasis on proper classification of
Infectious Medical Waste and the minimization of over-classification of solid
waste as infectious.
There are many reasons that health
care facilities need to reduce the
amount of Infectious Medical Waste
- When large volumes of plastics,
common in medical waste, are incinerated there is increased potential for
atmospheric release of carcinogenic agents if incinerators are not operated
- Increased medical waste generation also increases the potential for
costly accidents and spills due to the increased numbers of vehicles required to
haul the waste.
Another reason is to keep disposal costs as low as possible.
The following are items commonly found is biohazard collection containers.
These items are solid waste over-classified as Infectious Medical Waste.
vials (excluding vaccine vials or ampoules)
|- I.V. bags
and tubing with no visible blood
Paper towels and exam table
|- 24 hour
urine tests and specimen containers with no visible blood
|- Foley bags
and associated tubing
|- Chucks and
diapers soiled with urine or feces
|- Gauze and
cotton balls with little
wastes (MRSA and other contact isolations) from patients who do not
have a disease cause by a viral agent classified by the CDC as Class 4.
Class 4 Viral Agents:
Alastrim, Smallpox, Monkey pox and Whitepox
Hemorrhagic fever agents, including Crimean
hemorrhagic fever (Congo), Junin, and Machupo viruses
Herpesvirus simiae (Monkey B virus)
Tick-borne encephalitis, Kyasanur forest
disease, Omsk hemorrhagic fever, and Central European encephalitis
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
Yellow fever virus