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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 121. Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations
5/19/2024

9VAC20-121-110. Packaging and labeling of regulated medical waste.

A. All regulated medical waste shall be appropriately packaged, labeled, and managed as required by this section.

B. The generator of regulated medical waste is responsible for the packaging and labeling of regulated medical waste. Contractors or other agents may provide services to the generator, including packaging and labeling of regulated medical waste; however, no contract or other relationship shall relieve the generator of the responsibility for packaging and labeling the regulated medical waste as required by this chapter.

C. No person shall receive for transportation, transfer, storage, or treatment any regulated medical waste that is not packaged and labeled in accordance with this chapter. Contractors or other agents may package or label regulated medical wastes to comply with this chapter, so long as the packaging and labeling is performed onsite where the regulated medical waste was generated and no transportation, storage, treatment, or disposal occurs prior to the packaging. Nothing in this section shall prevent the proper repackaging and further transportation of regulated medical waste that has spilled during transportation.

D. All regulated medical waste shall be packaged and labeled onsite prior to storage, treatment, transport, or other management and at a minimum must conform with the following:

1. When regulated medical wastes are first discarded, they shall be placed directly in bags or containers meeting the requirements of the standards for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the general industry standard in 16VAC25-90-1910.1030 (29 CFR 1910.1030). The general industry standard requires the packaging to be closable, constructed to contain all contents and prevent leakage of fluids, labeled, and closed prior to removal. Red bags shall be used for the packaging of all regulated medical waste except as provided in subdivision 2 of this subsection.

2. Sharps shall be placed directly in puncture resistant containers as required by the general industry standards in 16VAC25-90-1910.1030(d)(4)(iii)(A). Sharps containers must not be filled beyond the fill line indicated on the container.

3. Waste packages must not be overfilled. As a bag or container becomes full at the point of generation, and prior to moving, it shall be closed, capped, or sealed so that no waste materials can leak, spill, or protrude during handling, storage, or transport.

4. Once closed, capped, and sealed, bags and containers of regulated medical waste shall not be opened, unsealed, unpackaged, or repackaged. If damage, spills, or outside contamination of the regulated medical waste packaging occurs, the bag or container shall be placed in a secondary packaging that meets all requirements of this subsection.

5. All regulated medical waste packaging shall be labeled. The label shall be securely attached to or printed on packaging. The label may be a tag or sticker securely affixed to the package. Permanent ink shall be used to complete the information on the label. The label and the information provided on the label must be clearly legible. The following information shall be included:

a. The name, address, and business telephone number of the generator. For hospitals, the label shall identify the specific department or lab where the waste originated;

b. The words "Regulated Medical Waste," "Biohazard," or "Infectious Waste" in large print; and

c. The universal biohazard symbol.

E. When regulated medical waste is conveyed in reusable carts or containers, the waste in the cart or container shall be packaged and labeled in accordance with this section.

F. When not being filled and prior to moving, wheeled carts and other items used to move regulated medical waste shall be secured, locked, or sealed so that no waste materials can leak and labeled with the universal biohazard symbol or color-coded red to indicate that the contents contain regulated medical waste.

G. Wheeled carts and roll-off containers shall not be used for the holding of liquids, sharps, animal carcasses or body parts, and human anatomical waste, including tissues, organs, or body parts, unless the regulated medical waste is:

1. Properly contained in rigid containers capable of retaining liquids with enough absorbent material to absorb all liquid present, and

2. Separated from other types of regulated medical waste by a leak-proof rigid barrier, divider, or separate compartment.

H. Prior to transporting regulated medical waste offsite for treatment, transfer, or disposal, waste shall be packaged and labeled for transportation in accordance with the standards of 49 CFR Part 173 of the U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations or packaged in accordance with an exemption approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 257.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 13, eff. March 15, 2023.

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