All Points Medical Waste Blog

What Are the Impacts of Improperly Disposing of Medical Waste?

Are You Putting the Environment and Community at Risk?

Discarded medical personal protective equipment (PPE)Medical practices and hospitals generate approximately six million tons of waste each year and 15% of that waste is infectious medical waste. And now, with COVID-19 in the mix, the rate of infectious waste is potentially even higher. If not disposed of properly, medical waste can have a dangerous impact on the environment, your staff and the community. Is your organization following the guidelines and requirements set forth by OSHA, the EPA and state agencies? If not, you could also be putting your business at risk. Take a look:

Infectious Waste Can Spread Infections and Diseases

Whether your facility is a private medical practice, a veterinarian office, a treatment or diagnostic center, a tattoo parlor or a funeral home, the medical waste you generate could have harmful impacts and spread infections and diseases to the community. Sharps and other items, discarded treatment materials like tubing, vials and PPE like gloves and masks are just a few items that can contain hazardous pathogens that can infect anyone who accidentally comes in contact with them. Dangerous and potentially life-threatening illnesses that can be spread include:

  • HIV
  • Viral Hepatitis B and C
  • Streptococcus pneumonia
  • COVID-19
  • Influenza strands
  • Meningitis
  • Candida

Improperly Disposed of Waste Can Harm the Environment

Medical waste that is disposed of improperly can contaminate groundwater sources, produce air pollutants and get into the ecosystems of wildlife. All waste materials that are generated by healthcare facilities can cause considerable damage and should never be dumped into waterways or thrown away in the regular trash.

Financial Risks to Improper Disposal

Protecting people and the environment against the risks of improperly disposed of waste is critical to the survival of your organization. It is also important to remember that your company could suffer financially if someone is injured or becomes ill because of your negligence.

Legal Risks

State and federal mandates are put into place to ensure that medical waste is properly disposed of. Be sure you are following all the rules and implementing the proper protocols within your organization to avoid potential lawsuits and costly fines for non-compliance that can be catastrophic for your business.

Improper disposal of medical waste can cause multiple problems and put the community, the environment, people and animals at risk for illnesses and diseases. It’s important for every healthcare and medical facility to follow the regulations put into place and to train staff members on the processes.

All Points Medical Waste can help you remain compliant and offer you and your staff OSHA training. We are a full-service medical waste disposal company located in Stuart, Florida serving customers from Okeechobee County all the way to Broward County. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn more.

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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