What Are the Regulations Put in Place for The Transportation of Harmful and Infectious Medical Wastes and Substances?

 The safety of hazardous goods while in transportation is an issue that raises the concern of people of all ranks from the general public to the officials in power ranging from the local officials to those with higher authority such as the Congress, and the Federals and the state in general.

This has prompted the Congress to make the Secretary of Transportation create rules that govern the transportation of such dangerous materials in order to ascertain the safety of the public and reduce the risks posed by them.

An agency has been set up to control the categorization of the hazardous substances and their packaging ready for transportation. This agency is known as the Research and Special Programs Administration. They not only regulate the classifications of the hazardous materials but also work to ensure that no company or individual transports those substances without meeting the minimum requirements.

Controlled Packaging of Hazardous Medical Waste

Below are the regulations for the packaging of harmful medical wastes:

The maximum capacity for substances that are not in bulk is 450 litres. The net mass for such materials should not be more than 400 kilograms

The packaging should be according to UN Packing Group II

It should be resistant to leakage

Should be rigid

Should not allow any moisture in

It should be strong enough to not burst or get any tears while being handled

Should be hard enough to avoid getting punctured or breaking

The lid should be firmly and tightly fixed in situations where the quantity to be transported is beyond 20cc

Special Conditions

If a contract carrier is the one doing the transportation or it is being done by a private carrier, then they will not be subjected to packaging requirements or labeling requirements if the following conditions are met:

The substances have been rigidly packaged

If their packaging  for substances that are not in bulk conform to the 173.24 and 173.24a requirements for packaging

If they have the “BIOHAZARD” marking on their packages

The substances in transportation are not under the scope of the HMR.

The Meaning of Some of the Terms used

Infectious substance. This refers to micro-organisms or toxins that are capable of causing human beings or animals to develop diseases.

Regulated medical waste. A material with infectious components but one that can still be used again

Biological product. Any substance made in accordance with the Department of Agriculture guidelines and rules

Diagnostic specimen. Any sample from the body of a human being or any animal that is being taken for testing and diagnosis.