All Points Medical Waste Blog
Medical Waste from Chemotherapy
Safe Storage & Disposal
Chemotherapy waste is considered to be one of the most dangerous of the hazardous waste categories. This is simply because the drugs used in chemotherapy are designed to kill living cells and therefore, any waste can be toxic. Proper disposal is crucial because mistakes can lead to long term health risks and environmental damage. Here’s a quick guide on proper storage and disposal:
Segregation of waste
The first consideration for proper chemotherapy waste disposal is ensuring you are segregating it correctly. To do so, you must be aware of which pharmaceuticals are being used and how they are categorized under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA identifies which medications are deemed hazardous waste and how they are segregated, managed and transported. There are two common types of chemotherapy waste:
- Trace Chemotherapy Waste is usually found on materials that are used to prepare and administer chemotherapy. This includes tubing, gloves, empty bags, gowns, and other similar items. These types of materials can contain residue of chemotherapy and are therefore a threat to people, animals and the environment if not properly disposed of.
- Bulk Chemotherapy Waste are items that contain larger amounts of the drugs used in chemotherapy. Materials like full or partially full, or expired bags of chemotherapy and other similar items fall into the hazardous waste category and should be placed in containers that are marked clearly as hazardous waste.
- P or U Chemotherapy Drugs
Chemotherapy that includes P or U listed pharmaceuticals are considered hazardous waste and therefore must be disposed of in containers that are clearly marked as such.
- Personal Protective Equipment
PPE used in the process of administering chemotherapy falls into the trace chemotherapy waste category. It’s imperative that these items, including masks, gowns, gloves, shoe covering and any other similar PPE, are safely disposed of to prevent exposure.
Safe Disposal of Chemotherapy Waste
If your facility generates chemotherapy waste, you must understand and follow the guidelines of proper waste storage and disposal. State and federal mandates must be adhered to ensure compliance and avoidance of violations and fines.
All Points Medical Waste provides full-service medical waste disposal including chemotherapy waste. We serve South Florida medical facilities from Okeechobee County all the way to Broward County. Give us a call today or fill out this form to find out how we can assist you.