Frequent Questions

How is the incineration of medical waste regulated?

Currently, over 90% of potentially infectious medical waste is incinerated. In August 1997, EPA promulgated regulations governing the emissions from Medical Waste Incinerators. These regulations included:
 
1) stringent air emissions guidelines for States to use in developing plans to reduce air pollution from medical waste incinerators built on or before June 20, 1996, and 

2) final air emission standards for medical waste incinerators (MWIs) built after June 20, 1996. These guidelines and standards will substantially reduce MWI emissions. EPA estimates that mercury emission will decline by 94%, particulate matter by 90%, hydrogen chloride by 98%, and dioxin will be reduced by 95%.

For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/industrial/medical/index.htm.

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