Other settings may be approved by the Infectious Medical
Waste Program. However, before other settings are approved,
documentation must be provided that indicates that the unit can achieve a reliable kill at design capacity
at the altered settings. This
documentation must be submitted along with a written request for the
Procedures for Use and Record-Keeping
When an autoclave is used to treat infectious medical waste,
each load of waste must have a piece of temperature-sensitive tape attached.
At the end of the cycle, if the tape has not changed color the cycle must
be considered unacceptable and treated again. If the second cycle
fails to produce a color change on a new piece of tape, the autoclave should
be examined for problems.
All infectious medical waste treated in an autoclave must be
documented in a log book. The log must contain the following
information for each load treated:
Date, time, and autoclave operator
Type and amount (pre-treatment weight) of waste
Post-treatment result from the temperature-sensitive tape
Dates and results of calibration
Dates and results of spore testing
Spore Testing Requirements
Autoclaves must be evaluated for effectiveness a minimum of
every forty (40) hours of operation. The Infectious Medical Waste Rule
requires the use of
stearothermophilus spores for this testing because of their high heat
Facilities may use any type of instant read test strips or
any other bacterial spores for daily checks, but they must also spore test
every forty (40) hours of operation using Bacillus stearothermophilus.
The results of all tests must be recorded in the autoclave log book.
All infectious medical waste that is to be treated in an
autoclave must be collected at the point of generation, in biohazard-labeled bags that are orange in
The disposal of treated infectious medical waste in a
sanitary landfill must comply with the WV Infectious Medical Waste Rule, as
well as WV Department of Environmental Protection and US
Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The Infectious Medical Waste Rule states that treated,
noninfectious medical wastes that are shredded so that they
pass through a 1/2" screen are no longer considered recognizable. These
wastes does not require any labeling when sent to the landfill.
For treated wastes that are not shredded, the West Virginia Infectious
Medical Waste Rule requires a label to be affixed to each container before being sent to a
landfill. It is the policy of the West Virginia Infectious Medical
Waste Program to allow the use of a waste manifest in place of labeling each
Labels must at least 3" x 5" in size and must be securely
attached to the outer layer of packaging. It may also be a tag that is
affixed to the packaging. Indelible ink must be used to complete the
following information for labels and/or manifests:
Name, address, telephone and fax numbers of facility
Weight of the treated noninfectious medical waste
The type of treatment process that was used to render the
A signed and dated certification which states:
hereby certify under penalty of law that this waste has been rendered
noninfectious in accordance with procedures required by the West Virginia
Infectious Medical Waste Rule, 64 CSR 56."
For more information or questions about autoclave treatment
of infectious medical waste please email