In Arizona there are very specific requirements for the proper storage of biohazardous medical waste. Many medical practices and businesses unintentionally break the rules set forth by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Stay compliant by following the below rules for storing biohazardous medical waste in Arizona:
- Generators must provide a storage area for packaged medical waste until it is collected for off-site treatment.
- The area must be secure and must restrict contact by authorized persons to the waste and must display universal biohazard symbols and warning signs. Warning signs must be worded as follows: “CAUTION — BIOHAZARDOUS MEDICAL WASTE STORAGE AREA — UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS KEEP OUT” (English); “PRECAUCION — ZONA DE ALMACENAMIENTO DE DESPERDICIOS BIOLOGICOS PELIGROSOS — PROHIBIDA LA ENTRADA A PERSONAS NO AUTORIZADAS” (Spanish).
- The room designated for biohazardous medical waste storage must never be used to store other substances like food, beverages or medical supplies.
- The area must be protected from contamination and contact with water, rain, wind and animals (including birds). Generators must make sure that medical waste storage does not become a breeding ground for rodents and insects.
- Biohazardous medical waste cannot be stored for more than 90 days, unless the generator has approved facilities in compliance with A.R.S. § 49-762.04 (rules governing waste regulation).
- Putrescible medical waste may be left unrefrigerated if it does not cause undesirable odors. Otherwise, it must be refrigerated at or below 40°F. If any odor issues arise, the generator must minimize them. If the ADEQ finds that the generator did not perform measures to adequately control the odors, refrigeration must be used.
- Generators may place conspicuously marked biohazardous medical waste containers alongside solid waste containers. However, the different waste types must never be comingled.
- Medical waste containers that have spilled must be repackaged and re-labeled. Surfaces soiled by the spill must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
The Arizona medical waste disposal company, US Bio-Clean, provides training in the proper handling, packaging and storage storage of biohazardous medical waste, pharmaceutical waste, chemotherapy waste and RCRA hazardous waste.