Management of Hazardous Chemicals and Waste

June 2, 2017 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Hospitals and other healthcare facilities use hundreds, if not thousands, of chemicals in virtually all clinical and nonclinical settings. The vast majority of these chemicals are considered hazardous by one or more governmental agencies. The use, storage, and disposal of these chemicals are highly regulated by the federal government as well as by state and local governments.

For healthcare facilities, the most important regulatory agencies are the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and their EPA- or OSHA-approved state equivalents. EPA regulates the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemical wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), EPA also requires the reporting to...

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