All Points Medical Waste Blog

Key Considerations of Chemotherapy Waste

Do You Know the Rules on Chemotherapy Waste Disposal?

Chemotherapy waste, just like other medical waste, is unique in the way it should be handled and disposed of. Medical facilities, hospitals and treatment centers need to know and follow local and federal guidelines and mandates to remain compliant and to avoid costly fines.

Here are some of the top things you need to know about chemotherapy waste:

Some Chemotherapy Waste is Infectious

Chemotherapy waste that is contaminated with blood including vials, sharps, gauze, bandages and other materials is considered infectious and must be disposed of accordingly. Other waste associated with chemotherapy including components defined as U-Listed and P-Listed are considered toxic and acutely toxic respectively. The waste associated with these components must be properly disposed of to prevent illness or death from accidental exposure.

Know the Difference Between Trace & Bulk Chemotherapy Waste

Trace waste from chemotherapy includes items like vials, IV bags and tubing that are considered RCRA empty, which means the item contains less than 3% residual of the medications that were used in the treatment. In the case of trace waste, the waste is considered regulated medical waste and can be disposed of under the guidelines that apply to this category of waste. Bulk waste, on the other hand, encompasses all those items used in treatment that cannot be considered RCRA empty as well as anything used to clean up a spill resulting from chemotherapy. Bulk includes the vials, IV bags, syringes and PPE worn by medical professionals that administer the treatment. Because it is not RCRA empty, bulk chemotherapy waste must be handled and disposed of as hazardous medical waste.

You Must Follow State & Federal Mandates of Incineration

Chemotherapy waste must be processed by incineration treatment only. If your facility is a chemotherapy waste generator, it’s mandated that your waste disposal provider use this method. If not, you are putting your organization at risk for non-compliance which could result in costly fines.

Prevent Cross-Contamination and Mixing Waste

Medical waste must be stored in the proper containers and disposed of according to its category. Make sure you know and understand the different types of waste, including chemotherapy waste, and that cross-contamination does not occur.

Understand the Different Types of Chemotherapy Drugs and Waste

It’s crucial that you are aware of the different types of drugs and the waste that is generated by chemotherapy and that you are segregating it and disposing of it properly. Whether you’re a pharmacy, a hospital, treatment center or an oncology practice, this is key to preventing incorrect storage and disposal.

Although some regulations vary by state, chemotherapy waste can be considered hazardous and a risk to people, animals and the environment if improperly stored and disposed of. Be sure you know the above facts and that you are following the mandates that apply to your facility.

All Points Medical Waste provides chemotherapy waste disposal throughout South Florida, including Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties. Give us a call today or complete the form on this page to get more information and find out how we can serve you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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