Medical Waste FAQ's

Distinction and segregation of medical wastes can be confusing, if not complicated. You’ve come to the right place to expand your knowledge about medical wastes. We’ve compiled the most common questions our clients often ask.

  • What is medical waste?
  • What does biohazard mean?
  • What are some examples of potentially infectious body fluids?
  • What goes in the yellow bag?
  • What does not go in the yellow bag?
  • What is the red bag for?
  • How do I securely package the medical [yellow or red] waste bag?

What is medical waste?

Medical wastes, also known as biomedical wastes, consist of solid or any semi-solid wastes that are produced in hospitals, medical centres, healthcare facilities, laboratories, etc. These wastes are potentially infectious and dangerous to human and animal health, as well as to the environment.
The following are some examples of biomedical waste:

  • Anatomical waste and solid waste
  • Dental amalgam
  • Used gauze, gloves, cultures, swabs, bandages,
  • Infectious waste generated during the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of humans and animals
  • Waste produced during the creation or testing of biological agents
  • Items stained in blood, human and animal excretions
  • Body parts, tissues, and other infections body secretions

What does biohazard mean?

This pertains to any biological material that can harm the health and well-being of humans, animals, and the environment. Biological materials are substances associated with or produced by humans, animal life, plants, and microorganisms.

What are some examples of potentially infectious body fluids?

  • Saliva from dental procedures
  • Semen
  • Amniotic fluids
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Peritoneal
  • Cerebrospinal and synovial fluid
  • Dialysate and dialysis waste
  • Pericardial and pleural fluid
  • Blood and its components

What goes in the yellow bag?

Use the yellow bag to collect the following types of waste, but first remember to check the policies and standard procedures of your facility, as well as the regulations set by your local and federal government:

  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Plastic tubing
  • Gloves, bandages, gauze, or other items stained with blood
  • Disposable sharps containers that are securely closed

What DOES NOT go in the yellow bag?

  • Medications
  • All kinds of radioactive waste
  • Any type of hazardous or chemical waste
  • Any kind of household waste, food, paper products, or non-infectious medical waste
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Sharps waste
  • Preservatives and Fixatives
  • Non-infectious biotech or food processing waste

What is the red bag for?

To lessen the risk of potential infections and illnesses, detailed segregation of biomedical waste should be followed. The red bag is specifically used for cytotoxic wastes — produced from cytotoxic drug treatments, such as chemotherapy. These particular wastes must be handled with caution and disposed according to proper guidelines and regulatory standards.

How do I securely package the medical [yellow or red] waste bag?

Packaging and disposing medical wastes should be law-compliant. Follow these steps to securely package your medical waste bags:

  • Line your waste container with the appropriate waste bag before using.
  • Tie the waste bag tightly when the container is full.
  • Secure the lid on the container and ensure that the waste bags are not visible.
  • Mark or label the containers according to regulations.

If you’ve got more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts. Call GICMD today at 1-877-244-8828 (toll free). We’re ready to provide you the best biohazard waste disposal solutions.


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