Draft guidance on clinical waste regulation

Draft technical guidance on clinical waste was issued by the Environ-ment Agency in September.1

The guidance follows that on clinical waste disposal published by the Health Services Advisory Committee in 1999 (ENDS Report 296, p 39 ). It covers waste acceptance, handling and storage, controls for alternative technologies such as autoclaves and microwave devices, emission monitoring and licence surrender.

The guidance recommends that certificates of destruction be issued by treatment or disposal facilities to inform the waste producer when his waste was processed.

The guidance sets out validation procedures for alternative treatment facilities. After commissioning, microbial inactivation must be demonstrated not less than once per week using bacterial spores. If the reliability of the inactivation is demonstrated for six months of normal operations, the frequency may be reduced at the Agency's discretion.

Bioaerosol emissions should be monitored at all facilities with potential to contain pathogens, but not at incinerators. Biofilters should be monitored on a monthly basis initially.

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