Within the medical world there is a wide array of waste which is generated which, as you can imagine, has to be treated differently than your average garbage can. One of the most important categories when it comes to the handling of waste is cytotoxic waste disposal, a very delicate process which has to be done in the right way. Cytotoxic drugs are used in the likes of cancer treatment and the tools which are used to administer such drugs, the drugs themselves and any human waste from this process have to be stored in a certain way and processed in a certain way. The key to cytotoxic waste management is in the segregation on-site of the waste, and here is exactly why it is so critical.
Reduce Risk of Infection
Naturally the main reason why this is so important is that the waste products from this kind of procedure can easily lead to infections. The reason why this waste has to be segregated on-site is that it immediately presents a risk of infection to patients and healthcare workers.
Contamination of Waste Streams
It is not just the risk which this kind of waste poses to workers on-site which is important, but also the risk which is presented if any of the cytotoxic waste is mixed up with other kinds of waste. The same risk of infection applies of course, but should this cytotoxic waste get mixed up with general waste it is going to present a very real danger on a larger scale. This kind of waste has to be treated in a certain way before it arrives at landfill, if it is thrown in with general waste then it can contaminate a huge volume of waste in a very short time.
As horrendous as it may sound, there are some unscrupulous parties out there who may look to reuse some of this waste for illegal activities. This could be through using this waste as a weapon or perhaps even reusing vials and presenting them as drugs which they are not. This thankfully is something which rarely occurs and one of the best ways of stamping out the risk completely is to adhere to the requirements which have been set out by the government with regards to the handling of cytotoxic waste.
Speed of Processing
And finally the segregation which the staff will perform when it comes to cytotoxic waste also ensures that the treatment and processing of the waste is fast and efficient. In almost all cases we will see this kind of waste being sent to industrial-sized incinerators, where it will be burned until it is nothing but ash. Once the waste is turned to ash it will then be sent to sanitary landfill sites. Having the waste segregated on-site simply means that the collection team can do its job in a more efficient manner.
This is waste which can carry a great deal of risk if it is not handled correctly.