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 9. Containment and Storage [118275 - 118320]
  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

118275.
  

(a) To containerize or store medical waste, at the point of generation and while collected in that room, a person shall do all of the following:

(1) Medical waste, as defined in Section 117690, shall be contained separately from other waste at the point of origin in the producing facility. Sharps containers may be placed in biohazard bags or in containers with biohazard bags.

(2) Biohazardous waste, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, shall be placed in a biohazard bag and labeled in compliance with Section 117630.

(3) Sharps waste, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, including sharps and pharmaceutical waste containerized pursuant to paragraph (7), shall be contained in a United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved sharps container that meets USFDA labeling requirements and is handled pursuant to Section 118285.

(4) Trace chemotherapy waste, as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, shall be segregated for storage, and, when placed in a secondary container, that container shall be labeled with the words “Chemotherapy Waste,” “CHEMO,” or other label approved by the department on the lid and sides, so as to be visible from any lateral direction, to ensure treatment of the biohazardous waste pursuant to Section 118222. Sharps waste that is contaminated through contact with, or having previously contained, chemotherapeutic agents, shall be placed in sharps containers labeled in accordance with the industry standard with the words “Chemotherapy Waste,” “CHEMO,” or other label approved by the department, and shall be segregated to ensure treatment of the sharps waste pursuant to Section 118222.

(5) Pathology waste, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, shall be segregated for storage and, when placed in a secondary container, that container shall be labeled with the words “Pathology Waste,” “PATH,” or other label approved by the department on the lid and sides, so as to be visible from any lateral direction, to ensure treatment of the waste pursuant to Section 118222.

(6) Pharmaceutical waste, as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, shall be segregated for storage in accordance with the facility’s medical waste management plan. When this waste is prepared for shipment offsite for treatment, it shall be properly containerized for shipment in compliance with United States Department of Transportation and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements.

(A) Pharmaceutical wastes classified by the DEA as “controlled substances” shall be disposed of in compliance with DEA requirements.

(B) Nonradioactive pharmaceutical wastes that are not subject to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-580), as amended, and that are regulated as medical waste are placed in a container or secondary container labeled with the words “HIGH HEAT” or “INCINERATION ONLY,” or with another label approved by the department, on the lid and sides, so as to be visible from any lateral direction, to ensure treatment of the biohazardous waste pursuant to Section 118222.

(7) A person may consolidate into a common container, which may be reusable, sharps waste, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, and pharmaceutical wastes, as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690, provided that both of the following apply:

(A) The consolidated waste is treated by incineration or alternative treatment technologies approved to treat that waste pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 118215 prior to disposal. That alternative treatment shall render the waste unrecoverable and nonhazardous.

(B) The container meets the requirements of Section 118285. The container shall be labeled with the biohazardous waste symbol and the words “HIGH HEAT” or “INCINERATION ONLY,” or with another label approved by the department, on the lid and sides, so as to be visible from any lateral direction, to ensure treatment of the waste pursuant to this subdivision.

(b) To containerize medical waste being held for shipment offsite for treatment, the waste shall be labeled, as outlined in subdivision (a), on the lid and sides of the container.

(c) When medical waste is containerized pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) there is no requirement to label the containers with the date that the waste started to accumulate.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 352, Sec. 8. Effective September 28, 2015.)

118280.
  

To containerize biohazard bags, a person shall do all of the following:

(a) The bags shall be tied to prevent leakage or expulsion of contents during all future storage and handling. When containers are prepared for transport offsite from the facility, they shall be prepared in compliance with United States Department of Transportation requirements.

(b) (1) Medical waste may be placed into a biohazard bag not to exceed three pounds or one gallon and tied, as required in subdivision (a), in a patient room and shall be immediately transported upon completion of the procedure directly from the point of generation and placed into a biohazard container stored in a soiled utility room or other biohazardous waste storage area without having first been placed into a secondary container in the patient room.

(2) Medical waste may be placed into a biohazard bag hung on a hamper stand in a surgery suite and the bag removed from the hamper stand after completion of the procedure, taken out of the surgery suite, and placed into a biohazard container stored in a soiled utility room or other biohazard waste storage area.

(c) Biohazardous waste, except as provided in subdivision (b), shall be bagged in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 118275 and placed for storage, handling, or transport in a rigid container that may be disposable, reusable, or recyclable. Containers shall be leak resistant, have tight-fitting covers, and be kept clean and in good repair. Containers may be recycled with the approval of the enforcement agency. Containers may be of any color and shall be labeled with the words “Biohazardous Waste” or with the international biohazard symbol and the word “BIOHAZARD” on the lid and sides so as to be visible from any lateral direction. Containers shall comply with United States Department of Transportation requirements when prepared for transport offsite from the facility.

(d) Biohazardous waste shall not be removed from the biohazard bag until treatment as prescribed in Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 118215) is completed, except to eliminate a safety hazard, or by the enforcement officer in performance of an investigation pursuant to Section 117820. Biohazardous waste shall not be disposed of before being treated as prescribed in Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 118215).

(e) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (5), a person generating biohazardous waste shall comply with the following requirements:

(A) If the person generates 20 or more pounds of biohazardous waste per month, the person shall not contain or store that waste above 0° Centigrade (32° Fahrenheit) at an onsite location for more than seven days without obtaining prior written approval of the enforcement agency.

(B) If a person generates less than 20 pounds of biohazardous waste per month, the person shall not contain or store that waste above 0° Centigrade (32° Fahrenheit) at an onsite location for more than 30 days.

(2) A person may store biohazardous waste at or below 0° Centigrade (32° Fahrenheit) at an onsite location for not more than 90 days without obtaining prior written approval of the enforcement agency.

(3) A person may store biohazardous waste at a permitted transfer station at or below 0° Centigrade (32° Fahrenheit) for not more than 30 days without obtaining prior written approval of the enforcement agency.

(4) A person shall not store biohazardous waste above 0° Centigrade (32° Fahrenheit) at a location or facility that is offsite from the generator for more than seven days before treatment.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, if the odor from biohazardous or sharps waste stored at a facility poses a nuisance, the enforcement agency may require more frequent removal.

(f) Waste that meets the definition of pharmaceutical waste in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 117690 shall not be subject to the limitations on storage time prescribed in subdivision (e). A person may store that pharmaceutical waste at an onsite location for not longer than 90 days when the container is ready for disposal, unless prior written approval from the enforcement agency is obtained. The container shall be emptied at least once per year, unless prior written approval from the enforcement agency is obtained. A person may store that pharmaceutical waste at a permitted transfer station for not longer than 30 days without obtaining prior written approval from the enforcement agency. A person shall not store pharmaceutical waste at a location or facility that is offsite from the generator for more than 30 days before treatment.

(g) The containment and storage time for wastes consolidated in a common container pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 118275 shall not exceed the storage time for any category of waste set forth in this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 76. Effective January 1, 2015.)

118285.
  

To containerize sharps waste, a person shall do all of the following:

(a) Place all sharps waste into a sharps container.

(b) Tape closed or tightly lid full sharps containers ready for disposal to preclude loss of contents.

(c) Store sharps containers ready for disposal for not more than thirty days without the written approval of the enforcement agency.

(d) Label sharps containers with the words “sharps waste” or with the international biohazard symbol and the word “BIOHAZARD.”

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 166, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2007.)

118286.
  

(a) A person shall not knowingly place home-generated sharps waste in any of the following containers:

(1) Any container used for the collection of solid waste, recyclable materials, or greenwaste.

(2) Any container used for the commercial collection of solid waste or recyclable materials from business establishments.

(3) Any roll-off container used for the collection of solid waste, construction, and demolition debris, greenwaste, or other recyclable materials.

(b) Home-generated sharps waste shall be transported only in a sharps container, or other containers approved by the enforcement agency, and shall only be managed at any of the following:

(1) A household hazardous waste facility pursuant to Section 25218.13.

(2) A “home-generated sharps consolidation point” as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 117904.

(3) A medical waste generator’s facility pursuant to Section 118147.

(4) A facility through the use of a medical waste mail-back container approved by the United States Postal Service.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 77. Effective January 1, 2015.)

118290.
  

Any small quantity generator who has properly containerized the medical waste according to the requirements of this article may store the waste in a permitted common storage facility.

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

118295.
  

A person shall thoroughly wash and decontaminate reusable rigid containers for medical waste by a method approved by the enforcement agency each time they are emptied, unless the surfaces of the containers have been completely protected from contamination by disposable liners, bags, or other devices removed with the waste. These containers shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner. Approved methods of decontamination include, but are not limited to, agitation to remove visible soil combined with one of the following procedures:

(a)  Exposure to hot water of at least 82° Centigrade (180° Fahrenheit) for a minimum of 15 seconds.

(b)  Exposure to chemical sanitizer by rinsing with, or immersion in, one of the following for a minimum of three minutes:

(1)  Hypochlorite solution (500 ppm available chlorine).

(2)  Phenolic solution (500 ppm active agent).

(3)  Iodoform solution (100 ppm available iodine).

(4)  Quaternary ammonium solution (400 ppm active agent).

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

118300.
  

Any leak or spill of a medical waste by a medical waste generator, hazardous waste hauler, or treatment facility shall be decontaminated by procedures adopted by the department.

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

118305.
  

A person shall not use reusable pails, drums, dumpsters, or bins used for medical waste for the containment of solid waste, or for other purposes, except after being decontaminated by the procedures specified in Section 118295 and removal of all medical waste labels.

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

118307.
  

Medical waste that is stored in an area prior to transfer to the designated accumulation area, as defined in Section 118310, shall be stored in an area that is either locked or under direct supervision or surveillance. Intermediate storage areas shall be marked with the international biohazard symbol or the signage described in Section 118310. These warning signs shall be readily legible from a distance of five feet. This section does not apply to the rooms in which medical waste is generated.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 564, Sec. 78. Effective January 1, 2015.)

118310.
  

A designated accumulation area used for the storage of medical waste containers prior to transportation or treatment shall be secured so as to deny access to unauthorized persons and shall be marked with warning signs on, or adjacent to, the exterior of entry doors, gates, or lids. The storage area may be secured by use of locks on entry doors, gates, or receptacle lids.

The wording of warning signs shall be in English, “CAUTION—BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE STORAGE AREA—UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS KEEP OUT,” and in Spanish, “CUIDADO—ZONA DE RESIDUOS—BIOLOGICOS PELIGROSOS—PROHIBIDA LA ENTRADA A PERSONAS NO AUTORIZADAS,” or in another language, in addition to English, determined to be appropriate by the infection control staff or enforcement agency. A warning sign concerning infectious waste, as that term was defined by Section 25117.5 as it read on December 31, 1990, that sign having been installed before April 1, 1991, meets the requirements of this section, until the sign is changed and as long as the sign is not moved. Warning signs shall be readily legible during daylight from a distance of at least 25 feet.

Any enclosure or designated accumulation area shall provide medical waste protection from animals and natural elements and shall not provide a breeding place or a food source for insects or rodents.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 166, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2007.)

118315.
  

A person shall not use a trash chute to transfer medical waste.

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

118320.
  

(a)  Except as provided in subdivision (b), compactors or grinders shall not be used to process medical waste until after the waste has been treated pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 118215) and rendered solid waste.

(b)  (1)  Grinding or compacting may be used when it is an integral part of an alternative treatment method approved by the department.

(2)  A compactor may be used to compact medical waste if the type of medical waste compactor proposed to be used is evaluated by the department, and approved by the department prior to its use pursuant to the following criteria:

(A)  The compactor operates without the release of liquids or pathogenic microorganisms from the medical waste during placement of the medical waste into, or removal of the medical waste from, the compactor units, and during the compaction process.

(B)  The compacted medical waste will not release liquids or pathogens during any subsequent handling and no residual waste will be left in the compactor unit after the process is completed.

(C)  Compactor operations and maintenance personnel will not be at any substantial increased risk of exposure to pathogens.

(D)  The compactor has been demonstrated not to have any adverse effects on any treatment method. If only specific treatment methods are compatible with the compaction process, the department shall condition its approval of the compactor for use only in conjunction with treatment methods, with regard to which no adverse effects have been demonstrated.

(c)  Medical waste in bags or other containers shall not be subject to compaction by any compacting device and shall not be placed for storage or transport in a portable or mobile trash compactor, except as allowed pursuant to subdivision (b).

(Added by renumbering Section 25088 by Stats. 1996, Ch. 536, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 1997.)

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