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Environmental Health - Biomedical Waste
Page last updated: 08/14/12
Environmental Health monitors the proper handling, labeling, storage, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste to eliminate the exposure to employees, patients and the public from disease-causing agents. Used needles, syringes and other biomedical waste were washing up on Florida's pristine beaches. In response, the Florida Legislature passed one of the country's first biomedical waste rules.
You need a biomedical waste permit if your facility produces any biomedical waste, such as sharps, used medical supplies (blood soaked gauze, etc.), some dental accessories, etc.
Tattoo parlors need at least a biomedical waste permit and depending on services at each salon and it's location, other health department and local permits may be required.
You can view a video titled Management of Biomedical Waste in Florida that is on the Google Videos website. This video, posted here by the Florida Department of Health, teaches Florida's regulations for the handling, packaging, labeling and transportation of biomedical/biohazardous/infectious medical waste.
For additional information please contact our Biomedical Waste Coordinator at 386-274-0692
Community Used Sharps Disposal Program
The Volusia County Health Department sponsors a Community Used Sharps Disposal Program. The program offers a low cost solution to the problem of unsafe disposal of sharps by homeusers. For a nominal fee, citizens can obtain and/or drop off filled sharps containers at any of our health department clinic sites in either Volusia or Flagler county.
Goals of the Biomedical Waste Program
Biomedical Waste Permitting and Licensing InformationWhen biomedical waste is disposed of improperly, it places health care workers, sanitation workers and the general public at risk for contracting dangerous diseases. Chapter 64E-16, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) requires health care professionals to ensure proper disposal of the biomedical waste that they generate. Biomedical waste generated by individuals in their own homes from use of syringes or diagnostic lancets also should be properly packaged and disposed. Complaints concerning biomedical waste are investigated by County Health Departments. Small amounts of improperly disposed biomedical waste are cleaned up under Florida Department of Health supervision. Emergency situations are referred to the Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Emergency Response at 850-245-2010.
The 1993 Florida Legislature provided funding for the Biomedical Waste Program, from the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund. Additional funding is provided through the annual permitting of facilities that generate at least 25 pounds of biomedical waste, in any 30-day period. Permitted facilities are inspected annually. Facilities that produce less than 25 pounds of biomedical waste in each 30-day period are exempt from permitting and are inspected every three years.
Department of Health oversight of biomedical waste management is conducted to assure proper identification, segregation, containment, storage and labeling of biomedical waste. The department also has established parameters for the safe treatment of biomedical waste.
Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C. requires biomedical waste facilities to provide training to personnel whose responsibilities include some aspect of managing biomedical waste. Such personnel must be trained prior to assuming any duties associated with biomedical waste, and they must receive an annual refresher course. Training must detail the procedures included in the facilities written operating plan, as well as compliance with Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C.
Apply for a Permit
Biomedical Waste Generator Permits (issued to facilities that produce biomedical waste) are issued by area biomedical waste coordinators. To find out who your coordinator is, check with your local environmental health field office. To apply for the permit, complete and return Department of Health form DH 4089 to your biomedical waste coordinator, along with the required annual fee. For initial permits, the fee is pro-rated during the last two quarters of the permit year, which is from October 1 to September 30.
Individuals interested in transporting biomedical waste must obtain a Biomedical Waste Transporter Registration. To register as a transporter, complete Department of Health form DH 4106 and submit it to your area biomedical waste coordinator. The fee for transporter registration varies, as it is based on the number of transport vehicles used. Your area biomedical waste coordinator will help you determine the correct fee for your business. Rule requirements for transporters are included in Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C.
Biomedical waste storage facilities also must be permitted. Completed Application for Biomedical Waste Storage Permit forms DH 4107 should be submitted with the required fee, to your area biomedical waste coordinator. Rule requirements for storage facilities are included in Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C.
Facilities for the commercial treatment of biomedical waste must complete an Application for Biomedical Waste Treatment Permit DH 4111 , and submit it to their area biomedical waste coordinator, along with the required fee. Rule requirements for treatment facilities are included in Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C.
Sharps-collection programs also must be permitted. An Application for Biomedical Waste Sharps Collection Program Permit DH 4108 must be completed and submitted to your area biomedical waste coordinator. There is no charge for this permit. Rule requirements for sharps-collection programs are included in Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C.
Links to biomedical waste forms
If you are in business as a biomedical waste generator or transporter, or operate a storage or treatment facility, or intend to do so, you can download, from below, the permit, registration, and report forms you require. The rule and forms for this program are available from the Florida Department of Health Biomedical Waste Program website.
Page last updated: 08/14/12