List of Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care Facilities & Proper Disposal


warning sign

Health care facilities and their staff are exposed to a wide range of hazardous chemicals as a matter of course. While this can be a recipe for disaster if the correct precautions are not taken, the proper disposal of used chemicals can keep the working environment safe, clean and welcoming for patients and employees alike.

Due to the vulnerable state of many patients, as well as the potential for mass infection or mass exposure to hazardous chemicals, these precautions are arguably more important in a healthcare setting than anywhere else.

While the exact hazardous chemicals that are present depend on individual types of healthcare facilities and the area of health they specialise in, products that commonly contain hazardous chemicals or other dangerous substances include:

  • Pesticides such as those used to treat head lice or scabies
  • Antibacterial hand sanitisers
  • Used medicine containers and syringe needles
  • Medical gauges, thermometers, laboratory chemicals etc
  • IV pumps, IV bags, tubing
  • Strong industrial cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners etc (often present in the air)

Why proper disposal of hazardous chemicals in health care facilities is important 

In May 2022, the World Healthcare Organisation published its first major piece of work ‘highlighting the extent to which health care settings can contribute to the spread of infections, harming patients, health workers and visitors.’ In its findings, over 70% of infections could be prevented with good hand hygiene and waste disposal practices.  

Hospitals, especially intensive care and new born units are amongst the most vulnerable, people can be at risk of contracting a disease in many care settings, including care homes. Cases in care homes were significant during the pandemic, and there are a lot of lessons that can be learnt about preventing the spread of diseases and viruses in these types of settings.  

Effective disposing of hazardous substances in a care home can help ensure patients and employees stay safe, helping to ensure all waste is disposed of safely.  

Proper Waste Disposal of Chemicals

barrels with colours

One of the most important rules regarding the proper disposal of chemicals in the laboratory or hospital alike is to ensure that all hazardous substances are disposed of using the correctly coloured sealed bins.

This is so important because it ensures other staff members are aware of the contents and do not expose themselves to any danger without realising. It also means waste disposal staff are immediately aware of what each bin contains and are unlikely to get them mixed up or take inappropriate action. 

Important clinical waste disposal containers include:

If your premises deals with these types of substances, it’s important to have these bins placed in accessible areas. There should be training given to employees who are likely to come into contact with these bins, and everything should be clearly labelled. In a care home setting, there may be different types of workers, who should all be given waste disposal training to ensure the health and safety of residents as well as themselves. 

Clinical Waste Disposal Services

colour bins

Healthcare facilities and organisations have a responsibility to maintain a clean and safe atmosphere. However, they also need to focus all of their time and efforts on treating patients. This provides a problem, as spending time and effort organising cleaning and waste disposal tasks take a lot of time and takes the attention of your employees away from the people who need them most.

Healthcare executives no longer have to make such difficult decisions, as here at phs we offer the UK’s leading healthcare cleaning and clinical waste disposal services.

phs are the UK’s leading supplier and have operations centres all over the country, meaning we are your local provider no matter where you are. We supply waste disposal & management services to care homes, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and clinics all across the UK. Our staff are highly trained and independent, able to enter your premises, carry out the necessary tasks and leave again without any disruption to your activities.

Contact phs for professional waste disposal and management services 

By investing in the appropriate hazardous substance disposal methods, you can ensure your healthcare or clinical setting is safely managed. It’s an investment worth making for the sake of your patients and employees, especially given the pressures on healthcare services at the moment. Disposing of hazardous substances in a care home or other setting the right way can make a big difference to efforts to control the spread of viruses and diseases.  

People in healthcare should be free to spend all of their time on treating patients and saving lives, not worrying about how they can meet strict regulatory standards and how best to enforce the right measures. Now, they can do exactly that, safe in the knowledge that the cleanliness and hygiene of their facility is in the hands of the experts.

For more information about our waste disposal services for care homes, clinics and other health care settings, contact phs today. 

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