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Minimization Information

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 they generate:

-  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 properly.

-  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.

-  Gloves
-  Medicine vials (excluding vaccine vials or ampoules)
-  I.V. bags and tubing with no visible blood
-  Paper towels and exam table paper
-  Procedure setup trays
-  24 hour urine tests and specimen containers with no visible blood
-  Foley bags and associated tubing
-  Chucks and diapers soiled with urine or feces
-  Bedpans and urinals
-  Gauze and cotton balls with little blood
-  Isolation 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 viruses

Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus

Yellow fever virus
 

 

Guidance for Minimization of Infectious Medical Waste Generation