As you can probably imagine, chemotherapy waste is considered as a hazardous waste product by the government, and there are strict laws which surround the treatment, transport and handling of this particular type of waste. From chemo products and the chemo waste containers in which they are placed, each aspect of transportation and processing has to be done in accordance with the law. Today we are going to take a look at what risks this kind of product can present, and exactly how it is eventually disposed of.
Risks Associated With Chemo Waste
The risks which are associated with chemotherapy waste to the wider public are down to the fact that these drugs are incredibly harmful if not administered by the right people, or not given to the right people. Beyond this however there are very clear risks associated with the products which are used in chemo treatment, because of the fact that they are in direct contact with body tissue of humans who are suffering from cancer. As you can imagine, these products cannot find themselves in contact with the wider world.
As soon as a product has been used it will be placed in the correct waste container which is specifically for chemotherapy waste products. This will be color coded in order to remove any kind of confusion and of course to prevent any kind of cross contamination. Once this has been done anyone who handles the waste will have to ensure that they are wearing full safety equipment. The same goes for those who will then be transporting the waste from the site to the waste processing facility. Goggles, suits, protective gloves and face masks are all worn by those transporting this waste.
Treating the Waste
When it comes to treating the waste this is a slow process which seeks to destroy the microbiological properties of the waste until it is deemed as being safe to go to landfill. In order to do this wastage processing facilities will blast the waste products with chemical through hot steam, and this will remove almost all of the danger. To further treat the waste however it will then be placed in an incinerator and burned at an insanely high temperature until all of the waste has been reduced to ash. This ash will then be transported to the landfill site, at which point it is no more harmful than any other kind of waste.
The smoke which comes off the waste also has to be treated, because of the risks of pumping that out into the air. This smoke will pass through multiple chemicals and filters which will clean the impurities and ensure that it is safe to release into the atmosphere.
This is exactly how we treat the waste which comes about as a result of treatment for cancer patients via chemotherapy. As you can see, this is a delicate process which has to be managed with great care, and with good reason.