Covid-19 has ravaged the world for more than two years. Is residential medical waste affected by the pandemic? It seems hard to believe it isn’t affected. Covid-19 appears to have affected almost everything in one way or another.
What Is Residential Medical Waste?
Residential medical waste is the same medical waste produced anywhere other than at home. However, residential medical waste is not as strictly regulated as medical waste from a healthcare facility.
Some residential medical waste is regulated. State and local authorities have regulations that vary from place to place. It’s a good idea to start with your local Board of Health to see what rules apply to you, especially if you have any questions about disposing of medical waste at home.
What Medical Waste Is Produced By Covid-19?
Masks. They’re everywhere. They hang from tree limbs and dot sidewalks, streets, and lawns. An estimated 129 billion masks are disposed of globally per month.
Unused medicine is a waste and easy to neglect. Your doctor prescribes a medication while you are sick with Covid. Then you get well, have a few left, and don’t need them.
Other waste may result from being sick: saliva, vomit, urine, and feces are biohazard waste. If the waste is contained in a pad or diaper, it can be thrown in a trash can. It is not regulated. Neither is blood if it is in a tampon, pad, or band-aid. If biowaste contaminates clothing or bedding, laundering with soap and bleach is sufficient.
What Should I Do With Masks And Medicines?
Masks can be disposed of in regular household trash. However, each disposable mask has a lifespan of 450 years. It will be hanging around (maybe even from the same tree) long after you are gone. Be eco-friendly and use a non-disposable mask you can wash and reuse.
The rule of thumb for unused medication is to take it to a medication disposal site located at many local pharmacies and hospitals. Flushing unused medications usually are not a good choice. DON’T! They may contaminate our ecosystem. The same applies to throwing unused medication in the trash. DON’T! Doing that may contaminate our ecosystem even faster.
If no disposal site is available, place unused medicine in a sturdy, watertight container. Add something unwanted like kitty litter or used coffee grounds. Seal the lid with a round or two of duct tape. Toss it in the trash.
There is always an exception to the rule. If you have an unused medication on the FDA flush list, you should flush it if it cannot immediately (right NOW!) be taken to a disposal site. These medications can kill a person with only one dose and are deemed so dangerous to humans and pets that flushing is safer than keeping them around.
Call Medical Waste Pros Today
Are there challenges coming your way regarding proper medical waste disposal? Medical Waste Pros is your source for all the medical waste disposal services you need, both at home and at work. Call us at (888) 755-6370 or fill out the contact form to receive free quotes on our medical waste disposal services.