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Management of Regulated Medical Waste

medical waste

Virginia's regulated medical waste management regulations set standards for the storage, and treatment of regulated medical waste, including Ebola-Contaminated waste. Regulated medical waste may be stored, steam sterilized, incinerated or treated by an acceptable alternative mechanism, and then exclusively in a facility permitted under the regulations. Innovative treatment technology may be allowed if the effectiveness of the treatment can be demonstrated. Treatment of regulated medical waste is expensive and it can result in the release of toxic emissions to the environment. Knowing where-to-throw saves money, improves compliance and worker safety, and reduces environmental impacts.

The identification of regulated medical waste as well as those items that are exempt from regulation is an important part of understanding the regulation of medical devices when they are disposed.  For example, household sharps (needles, lancets, insulin pens, and other sharps generated at home through self-care, rather than under the care of a healthcare professional or at a healthcare facility) are not regulated medical waste when they are disposed of in a sealed, rigid container (such as a detergent bottle) labeled for home use, as described in the Management of Household Sharps flyer.  Provided here are additional examples of items that are exempt from regulation and are not considered "regulated medical waste" as well as some items that are considered "regulated medical waste."


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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