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The Difference Between Bio-Hazardous, Infectious, and Pathological Wastes

Jun 2, 2017

What is Bio-Hazardous Waste?

Bio-hazardous waste is classified as any waste which contains infectious, or potentially infectious, material such as blood. A good example of bio-hazardous waste would be sharps waste. Sharps waste obviously could contain potentially infectious material, but it’s hard to actually recognize that it does in fact contain something infectious.

What is Infectious Waste?

Infectious waste is classified as any waste which is capable of causing infectious diseases, whether it is liquid, semi-liquid, or dry. Whereas bio-hazardous waste is any waste which contains infectious waste, infectious waste is classified as any waste that is capable of causing infectious disease.

What is Pathological Waste?

Pathological waste is classified as any recognizable organ, body part, or tissue from a human or animal. When we’re comparing pathological waste vs. bio-hazardous, one main distinction would be that pathological waste is commonly recognizable as parts of a human or animal body.

The Difference Between Bio-Hazardous, Infectious, and Pathological Wastes

So what is the difference between the three?

In truth, not much. Bio-hazardous waste and infectious waste are practically one in the same. If something is bio-hazardous, it is also going to be classified as infectious. Pathological waste does have a slight difference in definition, but it is also commonly classified as bio-hazardous simply because human or animal tissue is capable of spreading infection.

How do I Dispose of These Wastes Correctly?

So the real important question here is how can you effectively dispose of these different types of waste if they are so close in definition? In truth, it’s actually quite hard, and the regulations are constantly changing. Here at BWS, we go through constant training on updates as to what is classified as one or the other. For this reason, it’s actually best to hire a regulated waste disposal service to help you with classifying and disposing of any of your bio-hazardous, infectious, or pathological wastes.

BWS, Inc. is a regulated waste solutions company who helps waste generators of all types and sizes dispose of their waste effectively and according to federal and state regulations. For more information on our waste removal service, give BWS a call today at 800-660-6581 or fill out the form on our website for a free quote on our services.

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