Chemotherapy produces the most hazardous waste in the medical field out of all the medical procedures. While this waste may not be infectious (it isn’t risky to the general population), it’s corrosive and highly toxic. If it isn’t disposed of properly, natural resources will be harmed, and the damage will be irreparable in most cases.
Since it’s easy to get confused about chemotherapy waste, here’s our guide about 5 things to keep in mind.
1. Don’t mix wastes and avoid cross-contamination in your healthcare facility
This is also applicable to chemotherapy waste, whether you’re in a hospital, a specialty practice, or an oncology center.
2. Bulk chemotherapy waste also consists of containers that have held chemotherapy agents
These containers don’t qualify for RCRA empty rules. Any type of material built of visibly contaminated PPE (personal protective equipment) or used to clean up the spill also classifies as chemotherapy bulk waste. In addition, P-Listed chemotherapy drugs, full bottles, or full bags are some more examples of bulk chemotherapy waste that falls under the umbrella of RCRA hazardous waste regulations.
3. There’s a difference between bulk and trace chemotherapy waste
Trace chemotherapy waste can consist of vials, IV bags, and IV tubing, and RCA empty containers. But there is where interpretations and definitions can get a little confusing. Any container containing a U-Listed substance is referred to as RCRA empty when the previous volume left in the container or bag doesn’t amount to 3% or more.
In cases like these, this type of waste is known as trace waste, which can be dealt with as a regulated medical waste provided that it’s disposed of in a clearly labeled, compliant container. This container, in most cases, is colored yellow. However, P-Listed waste (the regulations surrounding which are stricter) doesn’t fall under the standard RCRA empty rule unless the container is triple rinsed after holding the waste. Contrastingly, bulk containers are colored black and should be stored, handled, and considered as hazardous waste.
4. Chemotherapy waste will be considered infectious if it’s contaminated with blood or any other infectious substance
But chemotherapy components can be toxic. According to Environmental Protection Agency, P-Listed chemicals are acutely toxic, and U-Listed chemicals are toxic.
5. There are more than one type of chemotherapy waste
Medical-Systems offers chemotherapy waste pickup services in Denver for customers just like you.
We offer solutions that don’t just reduce the risk of cross-contamination but also disposes of trace chemotherapy waste. We also dispose of sharps contaminated with chemotherapy residue’s trace amounts in the most cost-effective manner.