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Handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of mixed wastes at medical facilities and academic institutions

Handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of mixed wastes at medical facilities and academic institutions

Health Physics 82(5 Suppl.): S66-S76

Mixed waste includes hazardous/ toxic chemicals and radioactive materials mixed together. Most mixed wastes are difficult and costly to work with safely. Meeting the legal and regulatory requirements to generate, use, store, treat, and dispose of mixed waste can also be costly and difficult. The regulations that govern mixed waste, from creation to final disposition, are extensive and complex to implement. Complete and documented compliance with the applicable regulations is essential to demonstrate that personnel and environment safety has been assured. Noncompliance with the multitude of government's requirements for mixed waste can lead to serious repercussions. Noncompliance may cause serious harm to individuals and the environment, fines and penalties against a facility, and/or suspension of a facility's operations. Each facility that generates, uses, or possesses mixed waste must employ adequate expertise to assure full regulatory compliance. This paper introduces the large scope and variety of mixed waste and the current and potential methods to treat and ultimately dispose of, or recycle, mixed waste. Alternatives for regulatory compliance are also discussed and effective means to control mixed waste are presented. The paper is based on my Master's Thesis (Hageman 2001).

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Accession: 046211548

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PMID: 12003031

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