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Infectious Waste

Infectious Waste can be a threat to human health and the environment. Because so many people can come into contact with infectious waste, it is very important that this special type of waste be properly managed.

What is "infectious waste"?

Depending on where you are in the United States and which regulatory agency you're talking to, infectious waste may also be called "regulated medical waste," "biomedical waste," "biohazardous waste," "special waste," or "hazardous materials." 

Not all medical waste is infectious, and not all infectious waste comes from a medical facility. Under Oregon law, IW can fall into any of four categories: pathological waste, biological waste, cultures and stocks, or sharps.

There are four state agencies in Oregon that regulate various aspects of the management of infectious waste - the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of Health Services, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

DEQ's infectious waste web pages provide information about how to contact the various agencies for information about the programs and services they provide as well as information about the laws that govern the proper handling and management of infectious wastes.

Infectious waste links

Information about websites of State of Oregon agencies having regulatory authority in the area of infectious waste management; statutes, standards, rules and regulations applicable to the management of infectious waste in Oregon; Metro (Portland area regional government) Sharps Container Exchange Program web page.