According to Sharps Compliance, Inc., hospitals in the United States produce more than 5.9 million tons of medical waste each year. This is only a small portion of the medical waste that is produced each year considering there are also veterinary clinics, pharmacies, dentist offices and individuals producing this waste as well. But where does all this waste go? It can’t just go to the dump and regular waste disposal companies aren’t equipped to handle it — this is where medical waste disposal companies come into play. In this blog, we’re going to talk about the importance of medical waste services and why you should contact your local medical waste disposal company today.
According to the World Health Organization, there are eight types of waste and by-products.
Non-hazardous waste is what you think of as general waste disposal. This is waste that doesn’t pose any biological, radioactive or chemical threat.
Radioactive waste is waste that contains radioactive material and is usually produced from nuclear power plants.
Genotoxic waste includes waste found in cancer treatment such as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic substances.
Pharmaceuticals like expired or unused medications.
Chemicals found in cleaning supplies, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and more.
Infectious waste includes things like bodily floods, blood, and animal waste.
Pathological waste includes human and lab animal tissues.
Sharps are any object that could injure or infect someone like needles, syringes, glass, or blades.
It’s not hard to see how this type of waste could be harmful to anyone who comes in contact with it. Many people don’t realize that hazardous materials make up around 15% of all of the waste we generate. And if that waste isn’t being disposed of properly, it could be devastating to our health and general well being.
Microorganisms found in hazardous waste may infect hospital patients or the general public; pharmaceuticals like cytotoxic drugs or antibiotics could be released into the atmosphere, or particulate matter from medical waste can result in air pollution. At medical facilities, it’s very important for medical waste to make it into the proper waste disposal bin instead of going in a general waste bin.
Another harmful side-effect or improperly disposed of medical supplies is water contamination. If a hazardous material makes it into the wrong area it can soak into the soil, contaminating the water supply without anyone knowing it. Not only will this water be distributed as drinking water, but it could make its way into rivers, streams, and lakes
If water supply is contaminated, that also means our ability to grow crops is affected. According to Science Daily, studies have shown that even drugs like ibuprofen can be devastating to plant growth if they make it into our water supply.
Hazardous waste has just as big of an impact on wildlife as it does our communities. Once groundwater is contaminated, that same water will make it into streams, rivers, lakes, and eventually the ocean killing marine life and making natural ecosystems uninhabitable.
Contact Superior Medical Waste
Superior Medical Waste is your Top Rated Local® waste disposal company in Redlands, California and the surrounding area. We are happy to provide companies, small and large, with medical waste disposal, biohazardous waste disposal, medical waste pickup services, and recycling all based off regulator compliance. If you have any questions for us, please contact us today.