Waste Disposal Practices for Infectious Wastes at Hospitals, Laboratories and Veterinary Establishments

CED-79-73: Published: Apr 5, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 1979.

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As part of a continuing assessment of hazardous waste issues, disposal practices for infectious wastes was reviewed at hospitals, laboratories, and veterinary establishments.

Based on the information obtained during the review, the proposed definition of infectious waste could result in government over-regulation. As proposed, much waste will be treated as hazardous even though it does not pose a significant threat as hazardous to those who might accidently come into contact with it. In addition, existing disposal practices for infectious wastes appear adequate and compliance with proposed changes in the new regulation will be unnecessarily costly and burdensome for health care facilities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should revise the proposed infectious waste definition to include only those wastes which, if not properly managed, could result in increased morbidity or mortality. In addition, EPA should consider requiring sterilization of such wastes at the site of generation.

    Agency Affected:


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