According to the USEPA; “Medical waste is a subset of wastes generated at healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, dental practices, blood banks, and veterinary hospitals/clinics, as well as medical research facilities and laboratories. Generally, medical waste is healthcare waste that may be contaminated by blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials and is often referred to as regulated medical waste.”
Concern for the potential health hazards of medical wastes grew in the 1980’s after medical wastes were washing up on several east coast beaches. This prompted Congress to enact the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1989 (MWTA). The MWTA was a two year federal program in which EPA was required to promulgate regulations on management of medical waste. After MWTA expired in 1991, states largely took on the role of regulating medical waste under the guidance developed from the two year program.
More than 90 percent of potentially infectious medical waste was incinerated before 1997. In August of 1997, EPA promulgated regulations creating stringent emission standards for medical waste incinerators due to significant concerns over detrimental air quality affecting human health. EPA’s office of Air Quality Planning and Standards continues to review and revise the Hospital Medical Infectious Waste Incinerator (HMIWI) standards as required. With EPA’s tighter HMIWI standards, the number of HMIWI’s in the United States has declined substantially (since 1997).
With the aforementioned being said, this has led to an increase in the use of alternative technologies for treating medical waste. This is where the patented technologies of AEPC Thermal come(s) in!
Apex Engineering Products Corporation’s thermal division, known as AEPC Thermal, markets and sells a mobile thermal waste conversion unit, trailer mounted and ready for implementation that is extremely low emissions! We do not consider our Alvin class gasification system to be anything like an incinerator. An incinerator is just an old furnace or apparatus for inefficiently burning selective trash into smoky ashes. Our Alvin class units are an innovative waste disposal system for the medical world!
Not only are our units compact, effective, clean, and patented, they fit on a simple DOT rated, tandem-axle low boy trailer! The ease and diverse mobility of these units also eliminate costs of field services and transportation of your medical waste platform. If your sustainability program is designed to protect and conserve natural resources, this should meld quite well as it improves efficiencies and reduces your overall footprint!
With the many definitions and classifications of various wastes within the medical industry, one must be very familiar with the numerous rules and regulations that are instilled upon them. For the sake of convenience, below is a brief and simple outline, but by no means comprehensive, of just a few of the definitions and categories.
County and state laws strictly regulate the packaging and disposal of biological waste generated by research and patient care. Disposal procedures depend on whether the waste is classified as biohazardous or medical waste. Biohazardous waste, also called infectious waste (such as blood, body fluids, and human cell lines), is waste contaminated with potentially infectious agents or other materials that are deemed a threat to public health or the environment. Medical waste is waste generated in labs or clinical settings that is not contaminated, but could appear hazardous to outsiders.
Contamination determines the disposal method;
- Contaminated biohazard waste must be collected by a licensed biohazardous waste hauler.
- Non-contaminated waste can be disposed of as medical waste.
Biohazardous waste includes the following categories:
- Sharps, including but not limited to hypodermic needles, blades, and slides.
- Dry biohazardous waste;
- Contaminated cultures, petri dishes, and other culture flasks
- Infectious agents
- Wastes from bacteria, viruses, spores, or live and attenuated vaccines
Paper towels, Kim wipes, bench paper, or any other items contaminated with biohazardous materials
- Liquid biohazardous waste;
- Human or animal blood
- Human or animal blood elements
- Human or animal bodily fluids or semi-liquid materials
- Human anatomical specimens
- Animal carcasses and body parts if exposed to biohazardous materials
Medical waste includes the following;
- Non-contaminated cultures, petri dishes, and other culture flasks
- Decontaminated (i.e., autoclaved) dry biohazard waste
- Empty specimen containers
- Bandages or dressing containing dry blood or body fluids
- Trace chemotherapy waste, including empty containers and IV tubing
- Animal carcasses and body parts
- Any material resulting from medical care that is not biohazardous
- Any equipment used in a biomedical lab that could appear hazardous
See below why Alvin is the industry leading technology in gasification!