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What to Consider When Disposing of Chemotherapy Waste

Updated: May 16

Medical Waste Management Tips

When disposing of medical waste, there are many factors to consider. As the leading provider of professional chemotherapy waste disposal in Dover, DE, and the surrounding areas, we want to educate medical professionals about the various considerations involved in chemotherapy waste handling. A simple mistake can end up costing medical facilities thousands of dollars in fines. Here are some things to consider when disposing of chemotherapy waste:

Before disposing of chemotherapy waste, consider the following points:

Federal and State Guidelines Call for Incineration of Chemotherapy Waste Only

Chemotherapy waste must be incinerated; there is no alternative in the eyes of the law. Guidelines also demand that only approved chemotherapy waste collectors are allowed to transport, collect and dispose of this type of hazardous waste.

There are Several Different Types of Chemotherapy Waste

Generally, chemotherapy waste can be found on the U-lists and P-lists of substances that are named in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations.

Trace and Bulk Chemotherapy Waste are Two Different Things

Trace chemotherapy waste may include IV bags, tubing and vials. These objects are often described as “RCRA empty.” As long as the amount of volume left in these medical items is less than 3 percent, they can be managed as regulated waste. However, they have to be stored in a clearly labeled container. P-listed waste is regulated more severely and won’t be considered RCRA empty unless containers that held the waste are triple rinsed. Bulk chemo containers are often black, and they should be regarded, handled and stored as hazardous waste.

Cross-Contamination Must be Avoided at all Costs

As with almost all types of medical waste, cross-contamination can be lethal. This rule applies to all institutions that deal with medical waste on any scale. This includes oncology centers, specialty practices and hospitals.

Terminology Matters

Chemotherapy waste and drugs can also be labeled as antineoplastic waste. The guidelines for the correct disposal of such waste apply to hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare providers. Each state has different regulations, some of which are more stringent than the federal regulations.

For more information or to inquire about the professional services Choice Medwaste offers for regulated medical waste in Philadelphia, PA, and the surrounding areas call 302-766-7575 or click here for more information.

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