Louisiana Biohazard Waste Regulations
In Louisiana, there are three (3) sources of regulations for medical wastes:
- Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, (DEP)
- Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH)
- Occupation Safety and Health Agency (OSHA)
The DEP is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the transportation, incineration, and disposal of medical waste. At this time, DEP rules only regulations only cover disposal aspects of infectious waste. The DHH rules and regulations for medical waste are far reaching; they cover packaging and labeling, storage, transport, and treatment. The complete detailed disposal requirements are outlined in Management of Refuse, Infectious Waste, Medical Waste, and Potentially Infectious Biomedical Waste (pdf) (pages 292-299). The Department of Environmental Quality also outlines Medical Waste Considerations for Waste Handlers
In addition to the state medical waste environmental regulations there are some Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules that apply to medical/infectious waste. Louisiana is one of 26 states covered entirely by the federal OSHA program. OSHA rules (Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standards) impact various aspects of medical/infectious waste, including management of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store medical/infectious waste, labeling of medical/infectious waste bags/containers, and employee training.