Understanding the Bio-waste Law
Prior to 1988, waste washed up on beaches and put the public at risk for diseases and infections in New York City. It was determined that the waste was purposefully dumped into the ocean to avoid the high cost of disposing of biohazardous waste properly. Congress got involved along with the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments of the federal government to put a law into place that was in effect until the states were told that they had to manage their own biohazardous waste. Florida lawmakers developed a plan that is referred to as Chapter 381.
What is Biomedical Waste?
Under Florida statute, biomedical waste is defined as any solid or liquid waste that may pose a threat of infection to humans. The law further gives common examples, including:
- Discarded disposable sharps
- Human blood, blood products, and body fluids
- Laboratory and veterinary waste which contains human-disease-causing agents
- Nonliquid human tissue and body parts
- Other materials which may pose a risk of infection to persons outside the generating facility.
Where Is Biomedical Waste Found?
Biomedical waste is found throughout Orlando. The most obvious places for it to be found are hospitals, like Florida Hospital, Orlando Regional Hospital, and Osceola Regional Medical Center. Many doctor’s offices also have biomedical waste along with a variety of outpatient treatment centers. It is also found at long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and veterinarians. Many people are surprised to learn that tattoo parlors must obey biomedical waste laws. This means, they must also practice medical waste management in Orlando.
What Must Medical Facilities Do?
Florida law requires that each facility get a permit before generating biomedical waste. In order to obtain the permit, you will need a written plan of what you plan to do with the waste from the time the product is received in your facility, through its use, until it is disposed of appropriately. The government may inspect from time to time in order to make sure that you are disposing of the waste properly. If they find that you are not, then you can be hit with several fines including an administrative fine not to exceed $2,500 per day.
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