How to dispose of pharmaceutical waste?


What is pharmaceutical waste?

The waste includes waste pharmaceutical products, such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as chemical sludge and wastewater from the pharmaceutical process. It also includes discarded medical supplies that come into contact with medicines, such as used gloves and sharp objects. Because of the health hazards and ecological risks posed by this waste, it requires specialized treatment processes to ensure safety.

Pharmaceutical waste can come from a variety of sources, from manufacturing plants to facilities providing medical or veterinary services.

The following are some commercial and industrial sources of pharmaceutical waste:

1. The pharmaceutical factory

Pharmaceutical plants are a common source of pharmaceutical waste. Some of the waste produced by pharmaceutical factories is physical waste. It could be unused products, used chemical containers with residues inside or rags and mop heads used to clean equipment and wipe spills. There is also unused pharmaceutical and chemical waste that pharmaceutical companies cannot send to landfills, where chemicals may leach into the soil and groundwater, potentially harming the environment and contaminate local water supplies. You can’t flush it down the drain. Doing so can interfere with surface water treatment, pollute local waters and harm wildlife. Factories must dispose of this waste in accordance with strict regulations to avoid harm to human health, damage to the environment and incur severe regulatory penalties.

2. Health care institutions and extended care facilities

Healthcare and extended care facilities use a large number of pharmaceutical products every day. Some of these products inevitably end up as waste — for example, expired drugs, used syringes, empty pill bottles and other waste contaminated with pharmaceutical chemicals. Many of these products may lead to environmental pollution or adverse health effects if the facility is not disposed of properly. They need trustworthy, practical waste disposal services to ensure health and safety, while eliminating products they no longer need.

3. Manufacturers of personal care products

The production of personal care products leaves behind contaminants. Used chemical containers and unused products need to be handled with care. Chemical residues left on manufacturing equipment can also produce contaminated wastewater during cleaning, requiring specialized wastewater treatment.

4. Veterinary office

Veterinary offices use a lot of drugs. Drugs are offered in a wider range of procedures than a general doctor’s office — human patients rarely see the same doctor for respiratory ailments, amputations and hospice care, for example. As a result, veterinary clinics may produce a wider range of pharmaceutical waste than a general doctor’s office. Veterinary offices, like human healthcare institutions, must dispose of their pharmaceutical waste responsibly in order to protect human and ecological health.

Pharmaceutical waste includes:

Solid medical waste

Solid pharmaceutical waste usually consists of used items containing pharmaceutical residues:

Sharp instruments, including scalpels, needles and syringes

Contaminated items such as gloves, masks, bandages and infusion bags and tubes

Medicines containing hazardous or non-hazardous chemicals

Empty containers, such as medicine bottles, blister packages, liquid medicine containers and ointment tubes

Drug distribution devices such as autoinjectors, inhalers and atomizers

Liquid pharmaceutical waste

Liquid pharmaceutical wastes accumulate as pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities perform certain processing operations. Examples of these wastes include sludge from chemical processing and polluting solvents from tank cleaning.

How to dispose of pharmaceutical waste?

1. Dispose of prescription drug waste: When disposing of prescription drug waste, do not throw medications in the trash or flush them down the toilet. You may want to contract with a reliable waste management company for safe disposal.

2. Pharmaceutical wastewater treatment: Many pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities produce pharmaceutical wastewater when cleaning storage tanks and other manufacturing equipment. This water cannot go down the drain — you may need to work with a specialist waste facility that can handle it responsibly.

3. Dispose of contaminated products: Your facility may also need to dispose of contaminated products, such as gloves and masks. Waste disposal companies can collect and dispose of them to ensure that your facility complies with legal requirements.

When you need a reliable partner in pharmaceutical waste treatment, we are happy to negotiate with your factory on the type of pharmaceutical waste you are handling. We provide steam sterilizers to help your tissues handle and dispose of pharmaceutical waste.

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Characteristics and advantages of medical waste sterilizer:

1. No pretreatment risk. The use of autoclave trolleys eliminates the need for employees to handle untreated waste from the point of production to final disposal.

2. Steam sterilizer suitable for any scale facilities. The device can handle weights of 100 to 500kg. Each cycle or more.

3. The simplest operation. After the sterilizer is installed, only a short service training is required on site.

4. Equipment design remains unchanged. There is no fear that the system will soon become obsolete, making it difficult to obtain parts and repair.

5. Utility consumption. Most sterilizers use an existing low-cost, off-the-shelf hospital steam supply.

6. Steam sterilization vs. disinfection. As countries and the world are concerned about the spread of infectious diseases, it is imperative to eliminate all microorganisms in the waste stream. The sterilization process is the best guarantee for the hospital to kill spores correctly.

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