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Foreword
Emergency Numbers
Table of Contents
Introduction
1. EH&S Policy
2. Occupational Injury
3. Public Safety
4. Emergencies
5.  Injury/Illness
6. Asbestos
7. Hazardous Waste
8. Bio Waste
9. Rad Waste
10. Recycling
11. HazCom & DHS
12. Office Safety
13. Lab Safety
14 Shop Safety
15 Personal Protection
16. Hazard Evaluation
17. Safe Lifting
18. Safety Policies
19. Warning Signs
20. Safety Services
21. Non-lab Training
22. Research Training
23. Training classes
Location Map

8. BIOLOGICAL OR INFECTIOUS WASTE

 

Infectious waste includes any waste item contaminated with biological agents suspected as being capable of transmitting disease. Infectious waste can be divided into three primary groups:

Liquid wastes. Items such as blood, other bodily fluids, or culture media which is known or suspected to be contaminated with disease agents.

Soft materials. Includes materials such as dressings, bandages, bedding, toweling, etc. that are saturated to the point that they are capable of releasing blood, bodily fluids or other potentially infectious materials when handled or compressed.

Sharps. Objects or instruments that are contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, or other infectious agents which could penetrate the skin or could do so if broken. Examples of this include:

  • glassware
  • pipettes (glass and hard plastic)
  • hypodermic needles
  • scalpel blades
  • lancets

Segregation and Storage

Place infectious liquid waste containers into leak proof containers for treatment prior to disposal.

Place soft infectious waste into an infectious waste bag with the biohazard symbol on it and treat prior to disposal.

Place infectious sharps into a sharps container for treatment. A sharp container is typically constructed of hard plastic with the biohazard symbol. The responsible department purchases the required autoclave containers, biohazard bags and sharps containers.

Biohazard (Infectious) Waste Treatment

Biohazardous wastes must be treated as follows:

  • Waste classified as Biosafety Level I & II must be autoclaved at the correct temperature, pressure and length of time to ensure sterilization. A steam sterilization indicator must be included with each load to ensure proper autoclave function. After effective treatment & removal of biohazard symbol, waste may be disposed as trash.

*Note: Before using a steam sterilizer to treat infectious waste, personnel must have documentation that they have been properly trained and understand the operating procedures for each unit.

  • Blood waste and sharps, in sharps containers, are incinerated by a vendor approved by EH&S.
  • Untreated biohazardous material (including human blood, body fluids, etc.) must be incinerated by a vendor approved by EH&S.
  • Contact the EH&S Office for pick-up of biohazard containers for incineration. Large biohazard containers are available upon request.

Please note that the NMSU Biosafety Manual, IBC application as well as the exposure control model plan and related information are available on the Safety website.

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