If you were to venture to guess what hazardous waste is, would you feel confident that your answer is 100% accurate? Unless you work in a medical field, are a professional biohazard cleaner, or handle hazardous waste often as part of your job, chances are there are some things you don’t know about the basics of hazardous waste and different types. While hazardous waste is not something most people come into contact with often, it’s important to understand what it is so you can handle it appropriately if you ever need to. Keep reading to learn more.
Hazardous waste defined
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment (or both). It can be generated from many different sources and comes in a variety of forms including liquids, solids, gasses, and sludges and should always be handled with the utmost care, by professionally trained companies and experts when available.
The different types: listed, characteristic and mixed
There are a few different types of hazardous wastes, and the EPA has a specific identification process so you can categorize the waste accurately and handle it based on that category.
1. Listed Wastes are wastes from common manufacturing and industrial processes, specific industries and can be generated from discarded commercial products.
2. Characteristic Wastes are wastes that exhibit any one or more of the following characteristic properties: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.
3. Mixed Wastes are wastes that have both a hazardous component and a radioactive component.
Listed wastes are further broken down into one of the following lists: the F, K, P, and U lists. The F-list contains waste from non-specific sources such as spent solvent wastes, dioxin-bearing wastes, wood preserving wastes, and more. The K-list contains source-specific wastes which can come from wood preservation, petroleum refining, organic chemical manufacturing, and other types of industry and manufacturing sources.
The P and U lists come from pure and commercial grade formulations with the P-list coming from acute discarded commercial chemical products and the U-list coming from less specific discarded commercial chemical products.
Properly disposing of hazardous waste
Similar to how you should always seek professional help to handle and properly dispose of any potentially dangerous substance or contaminated space, hazardous waste should be taken seriously. Biohazard cleanup companies know the exact protocols for properly cleaning and disposing of biohazardous and hazardous waste and strictly follow these in order to be both thorough and effective.
If you or someone you know comes into contact with hazardous waste, it’s important that you call a professionally trained company Xtreme Cleaners who can swiftly come in to help and ensure proper disinfection and protection is used to avoid the potential spread of harmful pathogens. Contact us today at 800-524-9591 for professional hazmat and biohazard clean up services in Louisiana.