All Points Medical Waste Blog

Medical Waste from Funeral Homes

How to Manage Your Organization’s Biohazardous Waste

A photo perspective looking between flower arrangements at a person dressed in black resting their hand on the top of a dark-stained wooden casket. Others dressed in black are blurred in the background.Just like healthcare facilities and medical organizations, Funeral Homes generate a surprising amount of waste that must be managed, stored and disposed of properly. Here’s a quick look at the types of medical waste generated in funeral homes and how to safely dispose of it.

Types of Medical Waste from Funeral Homes

When deceased bodies arrive at a funeral home, they are subsequently prepared for burial or cremation. This process and the cause of death can lead to various types of medical waste, take a look:

Blood & Other Bodily Fluids

When a body is prepared for burial all the blood and bodily fluids are removed and replaced with embalming fluid which preserves the body. The embalming fluid contains harsh chemicals, including formaldehyde which can be dangerous to funeral home workers. The blood and other bodily fluids must also be disposed of properly to ensure it does not expose staff to any infectious  diseases or pathogens.

Sharps & Other Similar Items

Just like hospitals and other healthcare facilities, funeral homes use sharps to prepare bodies. Items like incision needles, lancets, scalpels, scissors and other tools that can cut through skin must be safely disposed of to protect staff against accidental sticks and pricks. All funeral homes should have FDA approved sharps containers with locking lids. These containers must not be overfilled and must be picked up by a licensed medical waste company on a regular basis.

Masks, Gloves & Gowns

Funeral home professionals who work with the deceased must wear personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect themselves against exposure to infection, disease and bacteria. These items can become contaminated with hazardous pathogens and should be disposed of properly.

Swabs, Gauze, Dressing and Other Related Items

In the same way PPE can become contaminated, swabs, dressings, gauze and other materials used in preparing the deceased for burial or cremation can come in contact with bodily fluids and other waste and therefore must be safely disposed of.

Chemicals Used in Preparing the Body

The process of cremation involves the use of several different types of chemicals including natural gas or an alkaline solution, depending on the method being used. These chemicals can cause harm to humans and wildlife as well as the environment if not properly disposed of.

Working with a reputable and reliable medical waste disposal provider is crucial for funeral homes. Local, state and federal laws must be followed and waste must be managed and disposed of according to compliance mandates.

All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida. We provide full service medical waste to funeral homes throughout Southeast Florida as well as to hospitals, physician’s offices, dental and veterinary practices and other healthcare facilities. Give us a call today or complete the form on this page to learn 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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