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EHS > Biological Safety > Programs & Guidelines >

Medical Waste Categories In Michigan

In response to numerous inquiries regarding the regulation of medical waste in Michigan under the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) and the Michigan Medical Waste Regulatory Act (MWRA), the following list denotes the regulations that govern the medical waste categories. Most categories are governed by both regulations, while some are governed by only one of the two. In any case, as long as one regulation considers a waste categorie as medical waste, it has to be treated that way

MIOSHA and MWRA regulate as medical waste:

  • Liquid Human blood
  • Semi-liquid human blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal Secretions
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Synovial fluid
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Pleural fluid
  • Any Body fluid visibly contaminated with blood
  • All body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids contaminated with blood
  • Any unfixed tissue or organ from a human
  • HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures
  • HIV or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions.
  • Blood, organs, tissue from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV
  • Contaminated sharps
  • Pathological Waste
  • Microbiological waste containing human body fluids, unfixed tissues, or HIV or HBV containing cells, tissue or solutions
  • Cultures or stocks of infectious waste
  • Contaminated waste from animals infected with HIV or HBV
  • Contaminated sharps
  • In addition to the types of sharps indicated, MIOSHA regulations further define sharps as any contaminated object that can penetrate.

MIOSHA regulates as medical waste:

  • Saliva in dental procedures
  • Teeth
  • Culture dishes

MWRA regulates as medical waste:

  • Vaccines
  • Culture dishes
  • Contaminated wastes from animals
  • Non-contaminated sharps (including needles, syringes, scalpels and IV tubing with needles attached)

MWRA and MIOSHA require that:

  • Medical Waste containers must be labeled

MWRA requires that:

  • Red bags must not be substituted for labels
  • Decontaminated medical waste must be labled (e.g., Autoclaved)

MIOSHA and MWRA do not consider as medical waste:

  • Urine and Feces
  • Materials stained with blood or body fluids

Regulated waste means: liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials; contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed; items that are caked with dried blood or other potentially infectious materials and are capable of releasing these materials during handling; contaminated sharps; and pathological and microbiological wastes containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.


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