Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 104. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH [106500 - 119405]

  ( Division 104 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

PART 14. MEDICAL WASTE [117600 - 118360]

  ( Part 14 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

CHAPTER 8. Treatment [118215 - 118245]
  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

118215.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), a person generating or treating medical waste shall ensure that the medical waste is treated by one of the following methods, thereby rendering it solid waste, as defined in Section 40191 of the Public Resources Code, prior to disposal:

(1) (A) Incineration at a permitted medical waste treatment facility in a controlled-air, multichamber incinerator, or other method of incineration approved by the department which provides complete combustion of the waste into carbonized or mineralized ash.

(B) Treatment with an alternative technology approved pursuant to paragraph (3), which, due to the extremely high temperatures of treatment in excess of 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, has received express approval from the department.

(2) Steam sterilization at a permitted medical waste treatment facility or by other sterilization, in accordance with all of the following operating procedures for steam sterilizers or other sterilization:

(A) Standard written operating procedures shall be established for biological indicators, or for other indicators of adequate sterilization approved by the department, for each steam sterilizer, including time, temperature, pressure, type of waste, type of container, closure on container, pattern of loading, water content, and maximum load quantity.

(B) Recording or indicating thermometers shall be checked during each complete cycle to ensure the attainment of 121° Centigrade (250° Fahrenheit) for at least one-half hour, depending on the quantity and density of the load, to achieve sterilization of the entire load. Thermometers, thermocouples, or other monitoring devices identified in the facility operating plan shall be checked for calibration annually. Records of the calibration checks shall be maintained as part of the facility’s files and records for a period of two years or for the period specified in the regulations.

(C) Heat-sensitive tape, or another method acceptable to the enforcement agency, shall be used on each biohazard bag or sharps container that is processed onsite to indicate that the waste went through heat treatment. If the biohazard bags or sharps containers are placed in a large liner bag within the autoclave for treatment, heat-sensitive tape or another method acceptable to the enforcement agency only needs to be placed on the liner bag and not on every hazardous waste bag or sharps container being treated.

(D) The biological indicator Geobacillus stearothermophilus, or other indicator of adequate sterilization as approved by the department, shall be placed at the center of a load processed under standard operating conditions at least monthly to confirm the attainment of adequate sterilization conditions.

(E) Records of the procedures specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D) shall be maintained for a period of not less than two years.

(3) (A) Other alternative medical waste treatment methods which are both of the following:

(i) Approved by the department.

(ii) Result in the destruction of pathogenic micro-organisms.

(B) Any alternative medical waste treatment method proposed to the department shall be evaluated by the department and either approved or rejected pursuant to the criteria specified in this subdivision.

(b) Fluid blood or fluid blood products may be discharged to a public sewage system without treatment if its discharge is consistent with waste discharge requirements placed on the public sewage system by the California regional water quality control board with jurisdiction.

(c) (1) A medical waste that is a biohazardous laboratory waste, as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, may be treated by a chemical disinfection if the waste is liquid or semiliquid and the chemical disinfection method is recognized by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the American Biological Safety Association, and if the use of chemical disinfection as a treatment method is identified in the site’s medical waste management plan.

(2) If the waste is not treated by chemical disinfection, in accordance with paragraph (1), the waste shall be treated by one of the methods specified in subdivision (a).

(3) Following treatment by chemical disinfection, the medical waste may be discharged to the public sewage system if the discharge is consistent with waste discharge requirements placed on the public sewage system by the California regional water control board, and the discharge is in compliance with the requirements imposed by the owner or operator of the public sewage system. If the chemical disinfection of the medical waste causes the waste to become a hazardous waste, the waste shall be managed in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 70. (AB 333) Effective January 1, 2015.)

118220.
  

Pathology waste of a human nature, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, shall be disposed of by interment, incineration, or alternative treatment technologies approved to treat this type of waste, pursuant to paragraph (1) or paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 118215.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 71. (AB 333) Effective January 1, 2015.)

118222.
  

(a) Pathology waste that meets the conditions of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690 and trace chemotherapy waste that meets the conditions of paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690 shall be treated by incineration or alternative treatment technologies approved to treat that waste pursuant to paragraph (1) or paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 118215 prior to disposal.

(b) Pharmaceutical waste from health care settings that meets the conditions specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690 shall be treated by incineration or alternative treatment technologies approved to treat that waste pursuant to paragraph (1) or paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 118215 prior to disposal.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 72. (AB 333) Effective January 1, 2015.)

118225.
  

(a)  Sharps waste shall be rendered noninfectious prior to disposal by one of the following methods:

(1)  Incineration.

(2)  Steam sterilization.

(3)  Disinfection using an alternative treatment method approved by the department.

(b)  Sharps waste rendered noninfectious pursuant to this section may be disposed of as solid waste if the waste is not otherwise hazardous.

(c)  Onsite medical waste treatment facilities treating sharps waste pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) shall ensure that, prior to disposal, the treated sharps waste is destroyed or that public access to the treated sharps waste is prevented.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

118230.
  

An operator of a hazardous waste incinerator permitted pursuant to Section 25200 may also accept medical waste for incineration.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

118235.
  

Each medical waste treatment facility issued a medical waste permit shall provide the enforcement agency with an emergency action plan that the facility shall follow to ensure the proper disposal of medical waste in the event of equipment breakdowns, natural disasters, or other occurrences.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

118240.
  

Notwithstanding Section 9141 of the Food and Agricultural Code, animals that die from infectious diseases or that are euthanized because they are suspected of having been exposed to infectious disease shall be treated with a treatment technology approved by the department for that use if, in the opinion of the attending veterinarian or local health officer, the carcass presents a danger of infection to humans.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 73. (AB 333) Effective January 1, 2015.)

118245.
  

The department shall charge an application fee for evaluation of an alternative treatment technology of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) and shall charge an additional fee equal to one hundred dollars ($100) per hour for each hour which the department spends on processing the application, but not more than a total of five thousand dollars ($5,000), or as provided in the regulations adopted by the department, not to exceed the reasonable regulatory costs of the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 74. (AB 333) Effective January 1, 2015.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC