Red biohazard bags are used to put any waste contaminated with infectious materials or agents, which may pose a potential threat to the environment or public health.
The following are some waste items you can put in biohazard bags:
- Plasticware like specimen vials, pipette and pipette tips that are contaminated with nucleic acids, cell culture and bacterial material, and biological specimens.
- All sample or culture containers that are contaminated with biological waste or materials
- Bench and towel papers that are contaminated with biological items
- PPE disposables such as gloves that are contaminated with culture or specimen material
- Vaginal secretions
- Synovial fluids
- Amniotic fluid
- Pleural fluid
- Cerebrospinal fluid
- Pericardial fluid
- Any bodily fluid such as saliva that’s contaminated with blood
- Any unfixed human tissue or organ
Red biohazard bags are typical in laboratory settings where infectious wastes such as blood and bodily fluids are found.
Proper disposal of biohazard bags
Follow these steps:
- Only dispose of biohazard wastes in the red biohazard bags
- When putting sharp objects in the red bag, place them in sharp containers first to prevent them from puncturing the bag
- Check the bag’s construction and reliability before placing your medical wastes in it
- Separate the materials before putting them in the bag
- Seal the bag after removing it from the waste bin
- Wear protective gear such as gloves, face mask, apron, and goggles while handling the red bags
Items that can’t be but in a red biohazard bag
Don’t place any of the following items in a red bag:
- Radioactive waste
- Chemotherapy waste
- Pharmaceutical waste
- Lead materials
- Chemicals such as waste oils, solvents, alcohols, formaldehyde, and corrosives
- Human remains such as cadavers, torsos, and fetal remains
- Toxic waste such as light bulbs, heavy metals, and batteries
- Inhalers, aerosol cans, and compressed gas cylinders
- Glass thermometers, sphygmomanometers, and any other mercury-containing device
- Uncontaminated solid waste such as food wrappers and beverage containers
- Empty amalgam capsules, chairside traps, vacuum pump filters, and amalgam sludge
Safe red biohazard bags disposal tips
1. Check the type of waste contained in the bag
Is the waste bloody, infectious, surgical, or contaminated?
2. Check if the red bag is punctured
A punctured red bag could be leaking some blood; thus, you should handle it carefully.
3. Contact a local hauler to collect the red bag
Numerous hauler companies in the UK collect medical wastes from the national health facilities. Contact a local hauler company and see if they collect red biohazard bags for disposal. You can also request clinical waste collection from your local council.
This guide has equipped you with knowledge about how to dispose of red biohazard bags safely. Based on the usage, it will be easy to determine the right disposal. Biohazard bags require different disposal methods from typical wastes. Contact your local medical waste contractor for help in disposing of your red bag.