Biological Safety Office
Environmental Health & Safety
[email protected]
What is biomedical waste?
◦ Biological vs. biomedical vs. hazardous
Spill handling
Biological waste - Solid or liquid waste which may present a
threat of infection to humans, animals, crops, or natural
Animal pathogens
Plant pathogens
Recombinant DNA organisms
Biological toxins
Biomedical waste
Hazardous waste
◦ At UF, used to describe chemical or pharmaceutical waste (see for more information)
Solid or liquid waste which may present a threat of
infection to humans. Includes:
 Discarded sharps (medical items intended to cut or puncture
skin, e.g. needles, lancets, scalpels)
 Non-liquid human tissue and body parts
 Blood, blood products and OPIM (as defined in OSHA BBP
standard) from humans and other primates
 Laboratory/clinical waste containing/contaminated with blood,
tissue, cell cultures & other potentially infectious body fluids
 Laboratory/veterinary wastes containing human diseasecausing agents
Segregation, handling, labeling, storage, transport &
treatment of waste are regulated.
Training – initial & annual
◦ Training records must be kept a minimum of 3 years
Site-specific Biomedical Waste Plan
◦ UF BMW plan @ EH&S Biosafety (call 352-392-1591)
◦ Shands BMW plan @ Environmental Services Dept. (call 352-2650480)
Permits req’d to generate, store, treat, & transport BMW
Inspections by the state
◦ Suspend/revoke permits
◦ Fines of up to $2500/day/violation
International biological hazard symbol on the container
The phrase “Biomedical Waste”, “Biohazardous
Waste”, “Biohazard”, “Infectious Waste” or “Infectious
Substance” must be on the container
Bagged waste must be in red bags.
Segregated at point of origin into its proper container
◦ “Point of origin” is the lab, patient/exam/procedure room or other
area where the BMW is generated
Choices for proper BMW container:
◦ Red biowaste bag
◦ Labeled fiberboard box lined with a red biowaste bag
◦ Sharps container – puncture resistant container specifically
designed for sharps
Chemically or radiologically contaminated gloves, tubes,
etc. do not go into a biomedical waste box. They go into
their appropriate waste container.
Call EH&S (352-392-1591) before putting hazardous
(chemical) or radioactive warning stickers on biomedical
waste containers.
Remember – the biomedical waste box is not a universal
disposal container!
Discard directly into a leak-proof,
puncture resistant container
Never Re-Cap Needles or Scalpels
◦ Don’t bend, break, or detach from syringe
Replace container when ¾ full
Never attempt to re-open a closed sharps
Label container with the date, PI name,
location (building/room #), and phone #
Container should be located where the sharps are
used: patient rooms, procedure areas, exam rooms, lab,
◦ UF uses disposable containers transported for disposal by
◦ Shands uses reusable containers which are supplied & serviced
by Bio Systems
Only sharps should go into sharps containers
◦ Soft items quickly overfill containers and may cause sharps
to stick out of the top of the box. Sharps boxes containing
items other than sharps and syringes need to be replaced ASAP,
but definitely within the 30 days of first use
Examples: broken glass, Pasteur pipets, serological pipets,
pipet tips, glass slides/cover slips
Dispose of in a way that they can’t do harm
Sharps box – date and dispose of w/in 30 days
Bench top biohazard bag or empty media bottle for pipet tips
Sturdy box placed in biohazard bag
Plastic sleeve (to bundle pipets together) placed in biohazard bag
Align serological pipets in one direction
RED autoclave bags – must meet certain documented standards
of State of FL, BBP & DOT
◦ e.g. Fisher #01-828E (Medical Action Industries)
Red bags are to be available where needed
No liquid waste in red bags!
Once sealed, containers must stay sealed. If container breaks or
is punctured, put the whole broken container in a new one.
◦ Infectious/potentially infectious waste must be stored in a
covered, leak-proof container
BMW must be staged in an area away from general traffic & accessible
only to authorized personnel. Storage area must be:
◦ Labeled with biohazard sticker
◦ Secure (locked/non-accessible)
◦ Easily cleanable & tidy
Waste cannot be stored > 30 days
◦ “The 30 day period shall commence when the first non-sharps item of biomedical
waste is placed into a red bag or sharps container, or when a sharps container
containing only sharps is sealed.”
Packages must be labeled as biomedical waste with the biohazard
symbol, name, location, phone & date
Some locations stage the waste & then transport it to outdoor containers
removed for disposal by a designated hauler
Use Universal Precautions – assume all BMW is
Wear appropriate PPE (gloves, clothing cover, safety
glasses) when handling non-inactivated waste
Transport waste in leak-proof containers
Know how to handle spills
At UF:
◦ Labs must furnish their own PPE and red bags (Fisher #01-828E)
◦ Sharps containers and BMW boxes are available from Building
Services custodians (in the HSC). Call 294-5500 for routine
scheduled biowaste box delivery, pickup or problems. Labs not on
routine delivery, call 392-4414 for occasionally needed supplies.
◦ Outside of the HSC, call 392-5775 to arrange to pick supplies up
at the Health Science Center Storeroom, AG133.
At Shands, staff may obtain supplies by:
◦ North Tower: contacting 265-0480
◦ South Tower: contacting 260-7006
◦ Speaking to an Environmental Services staff associate on the unit
they are working
Transportation of BMW is provided by the following
registered BMW transporter:
Stericycle, Inc.
4245 Maine Ave
Eaton Park, FL 33840
State of Florida Permit # 53-64-00911
What happens in case of an emergency?
◦ Stericycle has a number of other sites in the state that they can
pull transport equipment from to facilitate emergency situations
(the contingency plan)
BMW shall be treated by heat, incineration, or other
equivalent method suitable for hazard inactivation
acceptable to the State of Florida.
UF/Shands BMW is treated by Stericycle, Inc.
◦ Autoclave which sterilizes the waste or
◦ Incineration which destroys the waste
Lab waste handled by UF custodial staff
UF Policy:
◦ Laboratory waste containing infectious, potentially
infectious or rDNA organisms must be inactivated
prior to disposal
◦ Properly performed autoclave or bleach treatment is
◦ Storage of all non-inactivated waste in this category
is restricted to within the generating laboratory
◦ Specific requirements apply for waste containing
biological toxins. Contact the Biological Safety Office
at 352-392-1591
◦ Biological indicator testing every 40 hrs of
use (every 6 mos if autoclaving noninfectious material exclusively)
◦ Log book
◦ Regular maintenance
◦ 250°F/121°C, 15-20 lb pressure
Large loads/resistant pathogens
need more time
◦ Typical bag of biowaste = 60-90 min
Transport waste to autoclave in
closed bag and leak-proof container
Acceptable for liquid material if done correctly
◦ Add full strength household bleach to final concentration of
10% (5000 ppm available chlorine).
◦ Mix. Contact time should be at least 30 minutes.
◦ Pour down drain to sanitary sewer.
Beware of other disinfectants = “hazardous chemicals”,
harmful to work with and can’t go down drain, must be
picked up by EH&S
Non-infectious biological waste
“Medical / Biomedical looking” – perception issue - especially for
custodians & Alachua County landfill.
1. Used culture ware & molecular biology lab ware
not contaminated with pathogen, rDNA, or blood
2. Gloves & other disposable PPE that are not
contaminated with pathogen, rDNA, or blood
3. Medical devices
4. Items contaminated with non-infectious animal
Does not need to be inactivated
before disposal
Not to
Put in biowaste box
Proper spill handling:
Notify people in the area
Don appropriate PPE
Place absorbent material on spill
Apply appropriate disinfectant – allow sufficient contact time (30 min)
Pick up material (watch for glass – use tongs or dust pan); dispose
of material into biomedical waste
◦ Reapply disinfectant and wipe
◦ For large/high hazard spills, call the Biosafety Office (352-392-1591)
For routine disinfection of surfaces where BMW is handled, use a 1:10
solution of freshly diluted bleach or a tuberculocidal disinfectant
(ethanol evaporates too quickly!)
◦ Shands uses VIREX, a hospital level disinfectant/germicidal cleaner to clean
and disinfect surfaces.
Container of undiluted household bleach
Several pairs of gloves
Safety glasses
Absorbent material
Biohazardous waste (autoclave) bags
Dust pan & scoop or tongs for broken glass
Place in a labeled bag or bucket and keep in areas
where biohazards are used
Call 392-1591 or email [email protected]
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