Medical Hazardous Waste Disposal Methods


Medical waste ought to be disposed of in a proper manner. But the main problem that lies when it comes to discarding medical waste is the risk of infection. Not only pathological wastes but also laboratory cultures may contain dangerous and contagious infectious agents. If sharp objects such as scissors and injections are mismanaged, they can insert potentially harmful agents directly into the bloodstream.

At times hazardous wastes may, in fact, overlap with medical waste. By this I mean to suggest that a waste can be both hazardous and medical simultaneously. But how do we know if a medical waste is hazardous? The trick is to keep in mind that medical hazardous waste comprises of highly toxic compounds. These are frequently used in chemotherapy; as a result they are subjected to special regulations under the federal law. This article will now pirouette around a couple of ways, employing which such waste can be effectively dealt with.


Incineration can be defined as the process of burning medical hazardous waste. Three main types of incinerators that are used are as follows: controlled air and excess air and rotary kiln. Nevertheless, the most prevalent and widely used medical waste incinerator (MWI) technology is the controlled-air incineration. It is what dominates the market and inhabits hospitals as well as similar other medical facilities.

Thermal processes

Thermal processes are processes relying on heat. As such, the thermal energy does away with pathogens in the waste. Moving on, this category is subdivided into low-heat and medium-heat and high-heat thermal processes. This serves an essential purpose owing to the fact that the physical and chemical reactions that take place in thermal processes vary drastically at various temperatures. Let us now delve deeper into each of these three thermal processes. Keep reading!

In low-heat thermal processes, heat energy successfully decontaminates the waste. However the temperature is sufficient to cause neither chemical breakdown nor combustion. Generally, low heat thermal technologies operate somewhat between 200 F and 350 F (or in other words, 93 C and 177 C).

As the very name suggests, medium-heat thermal processes take place at a temperature higher than that of low-heat thermal processes, yet lower than that of high-heat thermal processes. We are here talking about temperature ranging from 350 F to 700 F (equivalent to 177 C and 370 C). Therefore unlike low-heat thermal process, chemical breakdown of organic material occurs in medium-heat thermal process. You may find it interesting to note that such processes are the basis for relatively new technologies.

We now turn to high-heat thermal processes. In this kind of process, temperature is maintained at around 1000 F and 15,000 F (which are 540 C and 8,300 C respectively). One may wonder how the intense heat is provided. It can be a product of electrical resistance, induction, natural gas and /or plasma energy.

Hiring a good medical waste disposal company is the only way to go about the handling of medical hazardous waste. They will inevitably make things easy for you.


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