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Environmental Health and Safety

Infectious Waste Management

Infectious waste, also known as medical or biohazardous waste, is material that was used in healthcare, research or postmortem exams. 

Examples of Infectious Waste

  • Sharps that may cause a puncture or cut
  • Microbiological specimens, such as culture dishes, vaccines and other wastes that have been exposed to human pathogenic agents
  • Blood and blood products
  • Pathological waste
  • Contaminated animal waste exposed to human pathogens
  • Isolation waste from Biosafety Level 4 agents
  • Other waste designated as infectious or any material that has come in contact with infectious waste

Storage and Disposal

Sharps must be placed in rigid, leak and puncture-resistant containers that have been tightly secured. All other waste must be stored and maintained in a rigid or semi-rigid leak-proof container that will not allow liquid in or out. Containers must be strong enough to resist bursting and tearing during handling and transport.

  • While infectious waste is being stored, it must be kept safe from insects and rodents, weather, leakage and exposure to the public.
  • If the waste is stored outside, the storage area must be locked and access limited to authorized personnel only.
  • Storage areas must be labeled with the biohazard symbol and the words Infectious Waste (or Biohazardous Waste or Medical Waste).

For more information about infectious waste requirements, contact David Estey at 803-422-2122 or email


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