New England Public Health Training Center

Medical or Biological Waste Programs for Regulators

This is an all levels course offering CPH, REHS, and RS — Free
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Time to Start

< 3 minutes


1.00 hour


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Medical or biological waste has characteristics that may cause it to be infectious or physically dangerous to human health and the environment. Examples of medical or biological waste include sharps (discarded medical materials, such as needles, syringes, and lancets including home-generated sharps), blood and blood products, cultures and stocks of infectious agents, pathological waste, biotechnology by-product effluent and contaminated animal carcasses and bedding. Due to the potential hazards associated with these types of waste, local boards of health (LBOH) should understand applicable federal and state laws and regulations and work collaboratively with medical waste generators in their communities. Additionally, LBOH, in cooperation with community partners, need to establish a means to assist community residents with the management of home sharps.

What You'll Learn

  • Identify federal and state laws that govern medical or biological waste
  • List three potential hazards from medical or biological waste
  • Describe the main sections of Massachusetts regulation 105 CMR 480.000 (480)
  • Distinguish medical or biological waste from non-medical or non-biological waste, and sharps from home sharps, according to 480
  • Summarize two key LBOH functions to ensure home sharps are properly managed.

Competency Terms

Analytical/Assessment Skills
Public Health Science Skills

Related Occupations

Laboratory Technician
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit

Related Job Tasks

Investigate, diagnose, and address health problems and hazards affecting the population
Create, champion, and implement policies, plans, and laws that impact health