Pathological Waste

Pathological waste is defined as any recognizable human or animal body part, organs and tissue. If contaminated with radioactive material, such as an animal carcass labeled with tritum, it is not considered medical waste, but radioactive waste, which then cannot be placed into pathological waste containers. Pathological waste is placed in a biohazard container lined with a red bag.

Pathological waste is a category of biohazardous waste. The parent category includes infectious animal bedding/feces, human and/or animal pathogens and disposable items contaminated with human blood or body fluids.

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Pathological Waste Collection

Pathological waste should be separated from the rest of the red-bag regulated medical waste. It possesses a few qualities that may warrant different disposal procedures. Consider this when developing your facility’s guidelines for pathological waste collection and disposal:

  • Pathological waste, specifically anatomical waste such as organs, can be saturated or filled with bodily fluids. Special measures, such as double-bagging or use of absorbents, may need to be taken to prevent leakage.
  • Pathological waste has to be refrigerated in order to slow down decomposition and prevent odors. It’s best to have it picked up promptly.
  • Some pathological waste may be hazardous if it was in contact with hazardous chemicals such as chemotherapy drugs. It may also be infectious or potentially infectious. In either case, it should be labeled accordingly.

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