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Medical/Infectious Waste

Medical/Infectious Waste Definition
Regulation of Medical/Infectious Waste
OSHA Regulations
Statutes, Regulations and Guidelines


Medical/Infectious Waste Definition

Medical/infectious waste is means any waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals. The definition of medical/infectious waste does not include hazardous waste; household waste; ash from incineration of medical/infectious waste, once the incineration process has been completed; human corpses, remains, and anatomical parts that are intended for interment or cremation; or domestic sewage materials. Examples of medical/infectious waste include:

  • Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, including: cultures from medical and pathological laboratories; cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories; wastes from the production of biologicals; discarded live and attenuated vaccines; and culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures.
  • Human pathological waste, including tissues, organs, and body parts and body fluids that are removed during surgery or autopsy, or other medical procedures, and specimens of body fluids and their containers.
    • Human blood and blood products including:
    • Liquid waste human blood;
    • Products of blood;
    • Items saturated and/or dripping with human blood; or
  • Items that were saturated and/or dripping with human blood that are now caked with dried human blood; including serum, plasma, and other blood components, and their containers, which were used or intended for use in either patient care, testing and laboratory analysis or the development of pharmaceuticals. Intravenous bags are also included in this category.
  • Sharps that have been used in animal or human patient care or treatment or in medical, research or industrial laboratories.
  • Animal waste including contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were known to have been exposed to infectious agents during research (including research in veterinary hospitals), production of biologicals or testing of pharmaceuticals.
  • Isolation wastes including biological waste and discarded materials contaminated with blood, excretions, exudates, or secretions from humans who are isolated to protect others from certain highly communicable diseases, or isolated animals known to be infected with highly communicable diseases.
  • Unused sharps including the following unused, discarded sharps: hypodermic needles, suture needles, syringes, and scalpel blades.

Regulation of Medical/Infectious Waste

Environmental Regulations

Wyoming does not have specific environmental regulations applicable to healthcare facilities for medical/infectious wastes, except where healthcare facilities operate an incinerator for processing medical/infectious waste (see Wyoming Air Quality Standards and Regulations Chapter 4, Section 5). These rules are enforced by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

OSHA Regulations

In addition to the state medical waste incinerator regulations there are some Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules that apply to medical/infectious waste. Wyoming is one of 24 states operating an approved occupational safety and health program. This program is operated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Employment. OSHA rules (Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standards) impact various aspects of medical/infectious waste, including management of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store medical/infectious waste, labeling of medical/infectious waste bags/containers, and employee training. These requirements can be found in the VetCA section entitled OSHA Standards for Regulated Waste.

Statutes, Regulations and Guidelines

Solid Waste Management Rules (Chapter 1, General Provisions)

Solid Waste Management Rules (Chapter 15, Solid Waste Rules and Regulations)

Wyoming Air Quality Standards and Regulations Chapter 4, Section 5


Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Solid and Hazardous Waste Division

Wyoming Department of Employment, Occupation Health and Safety Division

Wyoming Department of Health

More Information

None located.

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