The Need to Distinguish and Dispose Of Trace and Hazardous Chemotherapy Waste

From time to time ProCare Cleaning will invite a cleaning expert to present an are of expertise with is complementary to our office cleaning services.

This month we welcome our Guest Blogger Dennis Salva from Clearitwaste.

Pharmaceutical waste has been a big cause of concern since the effects can be easily seen in water sources, fish, and aquatic life which is extensively used by the human population in the form of food. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act mandates proper disposal of any drug that meets the criteria for being a hazardous waste. Pharmaceutical companies are seen struggling getting their standards in order. However instead of struggling to get the standards in order it would be better if we pay heed to the hazards since the standards are there just to stop the hazards.

Trace and Hazardous Chemotherapy Waste have been reported from quite a few water sources and specimen taken from aquatic life. There has been confusion in the classification of chemotherapy waste among health workers. People involved with the disposal of Hazardous Chemotherapy Waste frequently confuse among chemotherapeutic, antineoplastic, and cytotoxic waste.

However technically chemotherapy involves the therapeutic chemical treatment. Before the advent of antibiotics it was used for mercury and arsenic used in cancer treatment. Antineoplastic specifically means the inhibiting or preventing the growth malignant cells this is the most specific definition that separates Antineoplastics from the rest. Cytotoxic is the most broadly used term since cytotoxic is any chemical that is toxic to the living cells. It has been seen that many pharmaceutical companies confuse biohazardous with cytotoxic and label a single substance as both. Thus you may find a single chemical or disposable item as biohazardous and cytotoxic which sometimes plays havoc with the disposal mechanism of various organizations.

Organizations like ProCare come into play at that stage wherein pharmaceutical companies are not able to distinguish between the various compounds that need to be disposed off amicably. Since the disposal of pharmaceuticals and their components are regulated by federal and local laws thus care needs to be taken even in labeling them as biohazardous or cytotoxic or even antineoplastic.

Many chemotherapy agents are being introduced into the market with the increase in research and development of cancer hence it becomes all the more tough in classifying these compounds. Taking a cue from the Oncology Nursing Society which strongly discourages the unhooking of IV set unless it has been designed to protect employees from exposure. The need for limited, expert vendors in disposing off these kinds of hazardous chemotherapy waste is always increasing in the medical world that has seen many health workers getting infected via the patients they have been attending. Along with that there is always a possibility of these chemicals reaching the human food chain via water and other sources of food that may come in contact with them if not disposed off amicably.

Thus the need to distinguish and dispose off trace and Hazardous Chemotherapy Waste has become all the more important since most of the pharmaceutical companies are not really well informed while classifying them. Health workers all across the world are not amply trained to handle such waste and an organization that does not meet the required standards to dispose off such chemicals may be playing with the health of the local community. Hazardous waste disposal is not the responsibility of a single organization; to be more precise it cannot be done by a single organization. It needs to start from classifying it correctly, handling it in a proper manner and disposing it off in a way so that it does not harm the living species in and around the place where it has been disposed off.

Author Bio –

Dennis Salva has been working with Clearitwaste, a company involved with waste collection in London. Dennis has been a strong advocate of green disposal of waste especially hazardous waste that enters the human chain via water sources and other edible products. To contact Dennis feel free to visit –