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Infectious Waste Management

Infectious waste is any waste with the presence or the reasonable anticipated presence of blood or other potentially infectious materials on an item or surface.  The following are typical materials considered infectious wastes (this is not an all-inclusive list).

  • Human body fluids like semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult to differentiate between body fluids.
  • Any unfixed human tissue or organ (other than intact skin).
  • HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV or HBV containing culture medium or other solutions.
  • Microbiological cultures and stocks of infectious agents, including cultures and stocks of infectious agents, wastes from the production of biologicals, and culture dishes, assemblies and devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures.
  • Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, blood, blood products, secretions, excretions and bedding of animals that were known to have been exposed to zoonotic infectious agents or non-zoonotic human pathogens.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs and chemicals that are not infectious must not be disposed in the infectious waste streams.
  • Regulated medical waste that is mixed with chemicals or radioactive agents must be handled in a special manner.  Please contact the department EH&S.

There are three types of waste generated in laboratories and disposed through the regulated medical waste program.  These include:

  • Regulated Medical Waste
    • Sharp waste
    • Non-Sharp waste
  • Pathological waste
  • Chemotherapeutic waste

Researchers can submit an infectious waste pick-up request to EH&S. The infectious waste will be removed by the university’s vendor during the next pick-up time. In addition, researchers can submit an infectious waste container request to EH&S.

Additional information concerning the removal process can be found under Hazardous Waste Management