The Waste Management Division conducts inspections to ensure proper management of infectious waste. During inspections, Environmental Health Specialists inspect:
General standards for generators including, but not limited to:
- Segregation – All generators must segregate infectious waste at point of generation
- Management – Infectious waste must be managed in a non-putrescent manner
- Storage – Designated and labeled infectious waste storage areas maintain the
integrity of containers
- Treatment – Registered generators must ensure that their infectious waste is
- Registration certificate
- Weights per calendar month (small generators only)
- General facility requirements (treatment facilities only)
- Approval method (treatment facilities only)
- Quality assurance/validation (treatment facilities only)
- Disposal papers (treatment facilities only)
What is an infectious agent and waste?
A type of microorganism, pathogen, virus, or proteinaceous infectious particle that can cause or significantly contribute to disease in or death of human beings.
Any wastes or combination of wastes that include cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, human blood and blood products, and substances that were or are likely to have been exposed to or contaminated with or are likely to transmit an infectious agent or zoonotic agent, including the following:
- Laboratory wastes;
- Pathological wastes, including human and animal tissues, organs, body parts, and body fluids and excreta that are contaminated with or are likely to be contaminated with infectious agents or zoonotic agents;
- Animal blood and blood products;
- Animal carcasses and parts;
- Waste materials from the rooms of humans, or the enclosures of animals, that have been isolated because of diagnosed communicable disease that are likely to transmit infectious agents. Also included are waste materials from the rooms of patients who have been placed on blood and body fluid precautions under the universal precaution system established by the “Centers for Disease Control” in the public health service of the United States department of health and human services, if specific wastes generated under the universal precautions system have been identified as infectious wastes by rules referred to in paragraph (I)(6)(g) of this rule;
- Sharp wastes used in the treatment, diagnosis, or inoculation of human beings or animals;
- Any other waste materials generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production of testing of biologicals, that the public health council created in section 3701.33 of the Revised Code, by rules adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, identifies as infectious wastes after determining that the wastes present a substantial threat to human health when improperly managed because they are contaminated with, or are likely to be contaminated with, infectious agents. As used in this rule, “blood products” does not include patient care waste such as bandages or disposable gowns that are lightly soiled with blood or other body fluids unless those wastes are soiled to the extent that the generator of the wastes determines that they should be managed as infectious wastes.
- Any other waste materials the generator designates as infectious waste.
Types of infectious waste generators
- Large Generator – facilities generating over 50 lbs. in any one calendar month
- Small Generator – facilities generating less than 50 lbs. in any one calendar month
Local treatment facilities
Infectious waste must first be treated to eliminate microorganisms before disposing of the materials. Though many treatment methods exist, the following methods are used in Hamilton County by licensed infectious waste operators:
- Autoclaves – Steam autoclave treatment combines moisture, heat and pressure to inactivate microorganisms. Autoclaves must operate at a minimum of 121º Celsius for 60 minutes, at 15 psi during the treatment cycle to properly treat waste.
- Chemical Treatment – Treats materials (mostly cultures of infectious agents) by disinfecting harmful microorganisms with 15 percent sodium hypochlorite solution (bleach), at a minimum contact time of 20 minutes.