Biomedical Waste Disposal in Canada: Depending on the province or territory, different languages and descriptions are used to define biological waste. The Nova Scotia Health Authority, for example, is in charge of biological waste management. The Environment Act of Nova Scotia must be followed in terms of compliance and enforcement, and biological waste treatment facilities must be registered. The Environment and Labour Department regulates biomedical waste created in Nova Scotia.
Biomedical waste is defined as waste generated by human healthcare facilities, medical research and teaching institutions, clinical testing or research laboratories, and facilities involved in the production or testing of vaccines and contains or may contain pathogenic agents that may cause disease in humans exposed to the waste in Alberta.
In Ontario province, biomedical waste means:
- Human or animal anatomical waste
- Cytotoxic waste
- Microbiology laboratory waste
- Human or animal blood waste
- Sharps waste
Waste that has come into touch with human blood waste that is suspected of being infected with an infectious human substance, waste that comprises or has originated from one or more of the wastes listed above.
Biomedical waste can include the following types in the province of Québec:
- Teeth, hair, nails, blood, and biological liquids are not included in human anatomical waste, which comprises bodily parts or organs.
- Teeth, hair, claws, feathers, blood, and biological liquids are not included in animal anatomical waste.
Sharps or other breakable or sharp objects that have come into contact with biological liquids, tissues, or blood that are employed in dental, veterinary, or medical facilities or laboratories are examples of biomedical waste. In the province of Québec, live vaccinations are also considered biological waste.
Biomedical and other types of waste management practices differ across Canada, and information on specific definitions and practices varies by province, territory, and even municipality.
As a result, biomedical waste management techniques will vary slightly, but they must all abide by the Canadian government’s biomedical waste standards, which may be found in the Guidelines for the Management of Biomedical Waste in Canada. Guidelines for storage and disposal can be found under Section 16.2.
It should be emphasized, however, that, like their definitions, each province has its own standards for the treatment of biological waste.
Biomedical Waste Disposal In Canada
As previously stated, the federal government’s regulations must be followed by every province and territory in Canada. However, in addition to the federal principles, each province has its own set of rules that must be followed.
Such documents explain the handling, packaging, and disposal of sharps and sharps containers, as well as compliance with transportation and disposal methods for that province or territory.
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Sharps that have been exposed to bodily fluids or blood must be labelled and handled according to a written exposure control strategy (see Part 6.1), and containers must be yellow and labelled with biohazard or cytotoxic symbols.
Biomedical waste is classified as an infectious substance in Alberta and is classified as a Class 6.2 dangerous good under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. As a result, any off-site transfer of biological waste for treatment or disposal must adhere to the laws.
Biomedical waste generators using on-site management systems in Ontario must separate biomedical waste from all other waste streams and adhere to the labelling, storage, and containment criteria outlined in their guideline document C-4: Biomedical Waste Management in Ontario. Section 4.1 addresses containment, container labelling, and refrigerated storage (at or below 4°C), however, it does not address sharps waste.
The containment requirements for Sharps waste are specified. Sharps waste should be labelled with a yellow label and the universal biohazard standard for single-use or reusable sharps containers, and cytotoxic sharps waste should be labelled with a red label and cytotoxic sign.