NEWS: The Importance of Color Coding in Medical Waste Disposal
In the world of medical and surgical practices, there are many systems in place that ensure safety and actively prevent potential outbreaks and contaminations. These systems are often overlooked by those who aren’t directly related to the field, but they do more to stop the spread of disease than the actual medical and surgical procedures. Within these is the medical waste removal system of color-coded waste bags.
This may sound like a simple enough system, but its role in keeping the spread of disease under control cannot be overstated. Today, we’ll look at the different color-coded waste bins and what each represents.
What the Colors Represent
The colors for each type of waste are ideally kept constant. Not just in a single medical facility but ideally across all medical facilities. This prevents any sort of confusion that may pop up with the bins. The colors generally represent the following:
Red: These bins represent biohazardous material. This can include materials or instruments that involve body fluids like blood or deal with casings, tubing, or syringes that that has contained body fluids
Yellow: These bins represent radioactive materials and often have the sign for radioactivity on it. It often contains items used in chemo or radiotherapy, including gloves and gowns.
Black: These bins represent hazardous waste like chemicals, bad or dangerous medications, and chemo treatment.
Blue: These bins represent non-hazardous solid waste. This can include regular pills and medication and general pharmaceuticals.
Importance of Color Coding
Now this might seem like an extremely simplistic way to deal with such potentially dangerous waste, but it’s the most effective first step that can be taken when dealing with medical waste disposal.
The colors are necessary to keep the different types of waste separate. Attempting to separate the waste once it’s all jumbled together is a sure shot way to receive some sort of disease.
Post Bin Treatment
Once the color-coded bins have reached the dedicated limit before they must be changed, they’re taken over by medical waste disposal companies. The color-coded bins help them identify what sort of waste goes where, without needing to inspect it, which can be dangerous. The different sorts of waste must be treated through separate methods before being destroyed or recycled.