Funeral Homes and Biomedical WasteMedical Waste Disposal Services
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What types of medical waste does a funeral home produce?
Many funeral home employees in the course of their daily activities will come in contact with bodily fluids and tissues. The preparation of a body for funeral services and burial require the use of powerful chemicals along with exposure to biomedical waste.
There is a variety of waste generated by funeral homes ranging from bodily fluids, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and dressings/fabrics. Here are some of the typical kinds of waste created in the funeral home environment.
Needles, trocars, scalpels, scissors and many other sharp medical instruments are exposed to bodily fluids and chemicals which can be dangerous to employees if not handled properly. Funeral homes are required to have clearly visible and appropriate sharps containers in the proper locations. Learn more about Sharps on our Sharps webpage.
Gauze, Swabs, and Medical Tubing
Similar to Sharps, these materials become contaminated with bodily fluids and must be handled and stored in a safe and appropriate manner to protect the health of funeral home employees.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Funeral Home employees use a variety of PPE such as medical gloves, gowns, and surgical masks to protect against the spread of disease and infection when working with human bodies. After becoming contaminated or exposed to bio-hazardous waste or chemicals, these materials need to be properly stored and eventually removed and safely transported from the funeral home by a licensed medical waste company.
Chemicals and Contaminated Fluids
The embalming process slows the decomposition of the human body by adding comicals to replace bodily fluids. Embalming fluid typically contains a mixture of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, humectants and other solvents. Contaminated embalming fluid along with any blood waste generated from the embalming process must be disposed of properly.
Just like other medical waste producers such as doctor offices, laboratories, hospitals and surgery centers, funeral home waste must be properly segregated.
Some waste generated by funeral homes is not considered as medical waste but fall into different categories and must be handled and disposed of differently. Some examples of non-medical waste created by funeral homes include: Pharmaceutical, chemical, radioactive, trace-chemo, and bulk chemotherapy wastes.