NEWS: Importance of Disposing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Properly
Since the pandemic began, personal protective equipment (PPE) use has skyrocketed. The virus’ ability to transmit rapidly resulted in experts recommending many cautionary measures. Medical officials advised using PPE equipment like face masks, gloves, and face shields when leaving your home. These recommendations resulted in demand increasing drastically, to the point where many hospitals found themselves lacking the necessary PPE to equip frontline workers. Many governments subsequently prioritized PPE availability for hospitals. However, as the supply of PPE has now risen, it’s become the new norm for everyone.
Whether you’ve grown accustomed to wearing PPE or not, it’s here to stay for as long as this virus exists.
What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
PPE is worn to minimize exposure to hazards that may exist in the environment. Furthermore, studies also show that PPE usage can help lower transmission of COVID-19. PPE encompasses various clothing articles that help keep people safe, including face masks, gloves, and face shields. Medical professionals may also use hazmat suits to protect themselves from dangerous contaminants.
Why Disposing PPE Properly is Necessary
Disposing PPE properly is essential because there’s a likelihood of pathogens surviving on PPE equipment. Moreover, the disposal process also depends on the type of PPE in question. Normal PPE used in everyday situations is less likely to have deadly pathogens. On the other hand, medical professionals working in a healthcare setting are more likely to have infected PPE. Infected PPE disposal guidelines vary state by state. However, the consensus is that this PPE must not be disposed of with other material because it can potentially land in a landfill, causing groundwater contamination.
How to Properly Dispose of PPE
Various organizations have shared guidelines for proper PPE disposal. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that PPE disposal should entail using a closed-lid receptacle, separated from other trash items. Moreover, it recommends treating PPE as an offensive or infectious waste, requiring careful handling to ensure contaminants don’t spread to other objects or surfaces.
Disposal methods also vary depending on whether you’re disposing of PPE for a household or a business.
Disposal at Home
Disposing PPE at home requires that you separate the PPE equipment from the household trash. Throw the PPE equipment into a garbage bag and ensure that it’s secured inside before disposing it in a covered waste bin. Keep the waste bin out of the reach of pets and children, and remove it from your home at the earliest opportunity.
Disposal for Businesses
Under low-risk situations, you could implement similar measures to households. However, high-risk situations require that you install dedicated containers for PPE disposal throughout your offices. Ensure that you mark these containers clearly and instruct all your staff to follow the disposal guidelines carefully. Also, ensure that you have consulted your waste disposal unit and discussed the removal of disposed of PPE equipment from the premises.
Disposal for Medical Facilities
Disposal for medical facilities is more challenging than others. Medical facilities should follow proper Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. They should also follow similar practices as businesses in high-risk situations. However, most importantly, medical facilities require medical waste disposal services to help with proper disposal.
Waste Disposal Services in Denver
If your medical facility is seeking waste disposal services in Denver, we can assist you. Medical Systems is a medical waste disposal company in Denver, CO. We help medical facilities dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. We perform collections at local healthcare facilities, performing hazardous waste pickups, regulated medical waste pickups, pharmaceutical waste pickups, chemotherapy waste pickups, and pathology waste pickups. Medical Systems also provides medical waste recycling services.