Biohazard waste is a sub category of medical waste that needs extra attention from medical facilities for its overall handling process. It is exactly what it may sound when you hear the term first; it is actually a waste which potentially has several biological agents that are associated with a number of risks to humans if left exposed in the environment. Comprised of harmful viruses, mold, parasites, bacteria in addition to many other dangerous microorganisms, biohazard waste can be very damaging and threatening to human health, and lead to mortality in them.
Usually, biohazard waste is generated in various places within a medical facility. For example, pathology laboratories is a place where human or animal cultures are analyzed in order to find out the presence of pathogens; or the research labs that generate vaccines or study bacterial agents. Besides, autopsy and operating rooms that are used to remove infected tissues; or patient areas that are directly exposed to several infection agents during patient care, can be places to develop biohazard waste.
When it comes to biohazard waste, there are four types of waste including solid biohazard waste, liquid biohazard waste, pathological biohazard waste and sharp biohazard waste; there is different procedure for disposal for each of them.
Solid Biohazard Waste Disposal:
Solid Biohazard waste refers to non-sharp items that come in contact with specimens of human and animal specimen materials like body tissues or fluids. These items can go beyond towels or linens, pipettes, petri dishes, personal protective equipment, towels as well as all sorts of containers and dishes. Such waste items can be collected in a container that’s particularly designated for biohazard waste disposal purpose. It comes with a lid containing an autoclave bag, and is marked with the symbol of “biohazard”. An approved landfill can be used to dispose off solid biohazard waste on a specific site on a regular basis.
Liquid Biohazard Waste:
Liquid biohazard waste mainly includes blood and body fluids that could contain a number of bacterial and infectious agents. In order to discard this kind of liquid biohazard waste, it must be collected in specifically designated containers that are leakage-proof and secured against dropping or tripping over. A secondary vessel like a bucket or tray can be used to place primary liquid containers for additional security.
Pathological Biohazard Waste:
Removed organs, tissues or other body parts of human or animals that are exposed to bacterial elements are known as pathological waste, and should be placed in additional bags and leak-proof containers. Commonly, incineration or chemical treatment is employed to dispose of this kind of waste.
Sharp Biohazard Waste:
Sharp biohazard waste are all kinds of medical devices that are sharp and can puncture skin, and have been in contact with bacterial biological materials. These items may include saw blades, scalpels, microscope slides, broken glass vials, needles, microscope slides, and so forth. When it comes to removal of this kind of waste, there are special containers to collect sharps. They are puncture-resistant, leakage proof and can be handled safely.