There are guidelines regarding the safe disposal of PPE like gloves, cleaning cloths, masks and wipes. The best resource for general guidelines is on the government website but as a rule the following guidelines should be followed:
Any PPE that has not been in contact with an infection source can be disposed of in general waste.
Waste from a possible source of contamination should be disposed of in a plastic waste bag and tied at the top when full.
This waste bag should be placed into a second bag and tied at the top.
It should be stored safely in a secure bunded area for 72 hours or until the suspected contamination is verified.
- If the waste is deemed safe it can be disposed of in the general waste bin.
- If the waste is deemed contaminated then it needs to be stored for the full 72 hours before disposal into general waste.
These guidelines are for suspected risk items of PPE worn by individuals to guard against the spread of the virus. In a clinical situation, the NHS guidelines prevail.
Biohazard bags are not appropriate if the suspected contaminated items have been stored for 72 hours and disposed of in general waste. A biohazard bag has to be dealt with under different guidelines, autoclaved and disposed of by a company with a licence to handle contaminated waste. However if you cannot hold and store your waste for 72 hours prior to collection, you will need to use biohazard bags and arrange for a licenced company to collect the waste.
Camlab have a full range of sharps bins, biohazard bags, eye protection, face protection and disposable gloves. Any high demand items can be found on our High Demand Covid page.
If in doubt about what to do follow the government guidelines
One thought on “Safe disposal of PPE and potentially contaminated waste from Covid-19 exposure”
A biological hazard, or biohazard, is anything coming from living organisms (i.e. pollen, fungi, animals, insects, bacteria and viruses) that could be a threat to someone’s health. It is represented by ☣, the biohazard symbol, which is used everywhere in the world. That is why it is so important for local communities to address any and all biohazards.