Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste disposal

As a business owner, you are responsible for the safe and secure disposal of all waste produced within your facility. This is both a legal and moral responsibility but is particularly important when handling potentially hazardous waste such as Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste.

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste disposal

What is Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste?

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste can be split into two separate categories. To begin with, it refers to medicinal products that are toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction. Typically, these drugs are used in the treatment of cancer or similar conditions. This could include expired or leftover medication in the form of tablets, liquids, and creams. These products are particularly dangerous if not disposed of correctly, as the drugs themselves are designed to either kill cells or inhibit cell growth.

Due to the dangers associated with them, any items or products that have come into contact with the drugs are also classified as cytotoxic and cytostatic waste.

Examples of Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste include:

    Blister packs
    Medicinal vials
    Bandages & patches
    Contaminated disposable garments and PPE
    Contaminated gloves and wipes
    Cytotoxic and Cytostatic medications/drugs
    Hormonal medication
    Immunosuppressants
    Some forms of antiviral medication & antibiotics
    Sharps (needles, syringes, scalpels, etc.)

As Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste could threaten human life and the environment, there are various regulations set in place that dictate how it should be disposed of. This includes the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. When followed, these regulations:

    Reduce the risk of infection spreading (from contaminated products to staff/members of the public)
    Ensure that Clinical waste is stored separately from general waste, reducing the chances of the cross-contamination of waste.
    Prevent illegal use or reuse of the products.
    Ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of correctly, away from landfills.
    Protect the environment.

Who produces Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste?

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste is produced in numerous different facilities across the UK and beyond, many of which operate within the healthcare industry. For example, this could include:

Laboratories where medications are produced or trialed before being made available to the public. For example, this could include the development and testing of new cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines used in chemotherapy or to treat cancer.

Pharmacies where medications are tested or distributed daily. This could include expired medication that can no longer be distributed and therefore must be disposed of.

Doctors surgeries & hospitals where conditions are treated and medicines distributed on a daily basis.

Veterinary practices where vets are using cytotoxic or cytostatic medications as part of their treatment plans. For example, they can also be used to cure cancers in animals.

Care homes where residents may be receiving regular medical treatment.

Who uses the products that make up this waste and why?

As mentioned previously, the products that make up Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste are likely those who work within the healthcare industry. This could include:

    Doctors
    Nurses
    Clinicians
    Laboratory workers
    Pharmacists
    Vets
    Healthcare specialists
    Carers

The products are also used by those receiving medical treatment, either as an inpatient or within their own homes.

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste bags

How should Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste be stored?

You must ensure that all Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste is stored safely and securely before collection. This again will help to reduce cross-contamination and keep your employees and the general public safe. To achieve this, business owners should:

    Ensure that all employees are aware of the dangers associated with Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste.
    Put together a dedicated waste management plan.
    Ensure that all waste is segregated correctly and stored in the appropriate bags & containers.
    Put necessary security measures in place to ensure the waste is stored in a secure environment, such as a gated area.
    Clearly label all waste prior to collection.

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic Purple Waste Bag

What bins, containers and bags should be used to store Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste?

There are various different bins and containers that can be used to store Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste. This includes:

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic Purple Waste Bags. These bags are the most effective method of storage for Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste. This is because they can be tied up securely to prevent any spillages. As they are a bright purple colour, it also minimises the chances of the wrong waste items being put into the bags. The bin bags are suitable for different forms of cytotoxic and cytostatic waste, such as medicinal vials, PPE and blister packs.

Wheelie Bins. Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste bags should also be stored in the appropriate containers once they have been used. This can include wheelie bins, which are lockable and easy to transport. They can also be coloured0coded to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.

Sharps bins. Sharps bins should be used to store any sharps that may have come into contact with Cytotoxic or Cytostatic waste products. This includes needles, syringes, scalpels and lancets.

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste collection

What waste collection options are available for Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste?

Knowing how to store your Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste is only half of the battle – you must also ensure that it is disposed of correctly. Thankfully, at BusinessWaste – we can do the hard work for you. We’ll put together a waste collection plan that works for you and adapts to your schedule – whether you’d like your waste to be collected on a daily or monthly basis. Furthemore, whenever we collect hazardous waste, we’ll help you deal with the necessary paperwork, too. For example, we’ll ensure you know how to complete a waste transfer note.

Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste disposal

How is Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste disposed of?

The dangers associated with Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste means that it can only be disposed of through incineration or through a process known as chemical degradation.

When working with business waste, you can rest easy knowing that we never send waste to a landfill site and do everything in our power to reduce the impact that our practices have upon the environment – helping you keep the planet clean and manage your waste at the same time.

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