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Infectious Waste Policies and Procedures Manual
Idaho State University (HTML version) 2002 Edition

Chapter 3 - Definitions

Animal Wastes include contaminated carcasses, body parts and bedding of animals known to have been exposed to infectious agents during research, production of biologicals, or testing of pharmaceuticals.

Bio-hazardous waste: see Infectious Waste

Blood-borne Pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood or other potentially infectious material and which can cause serious or fatal disease in humans.  These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a set of Federal laws, which include regulations pertaining to OSHA Blood-borne Pathogens (title 29), and waste transportation (title 49).

Cultures and Stocks of Infectious Agents and Associated Waste are biological agents from humans or pathogenic to humans from the following sources:

  • Medical, microbiological, and pathological laboratories
  • Biological media preparation areas (stockrooms): cultures, culture dishes, and inoculation tubes
  • Devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures
  • Human blood and blood product, serum, plasma, and other bodily fluids
Exposure Incident is any specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious material that results from the performance of a University Personnel’s duties (contact with intact skin does not necessarily constitute an exposure incident).

Human Blood and Blood Product is any blood, serum, plasma, and other bodily fluids.

Infectious Waste,  also known as “bio-hazardous waste” or “medical waste,” is biological wastes capable of producing an infectious disease in humans.  Furthermore, conditions apply that include considerations for sufficient virulence, dose, portal of entry, and resistance of host.  In other words, to be classified as an infectious waste it must contain a sufficient quantity of a pathogenic organism with sufficient virulence to cause an infection in a susceptible host.  Non-disposable linen articles are not classified as waste, but must be handled safely as to prevent any further spread of potentially infectious agents.  Waste that could potentially contain infectious materials shall be treated as infectious waste.

Isolation Waste is waste generated from the isolation of persons with a communicable disease like Hepatitis or HIV.

Medical Waste: see Infectious Waste

Occupationally Exposed Employees are any persons classified as University Personnel who may have reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane or parenteral (i.e., under the skin) contact with human blood or other potentially infectious materials resulting from the performance of their duties.

Other Potentially Infectious Materials are any of the following body fluids:

  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, and amniotic fluids
  • Fluid visibly contaminated with blood
  • All body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between fluids
  • Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead)
  • HIV-containing cell, tissue and organ cultures
  • HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium, blood and organs
  • Tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV
Pathological Wastes are those generated during surgery, biopsy, and autopsy including: tissues, body parts, and bodily fluids.

Sharps are any instrument capable of easily penetrating skin with or without infectious agents is considered a sharp.  These include and are not limited to: hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpel blades and pipettes, lancets, broken glass, or glass instruments that could break during handling.

Technical Safety Office (TSO) the ISU unit that is responsible for overseeing and disposing of hazardous wastes including chemical and infectious wastes.

University Personnel means faculty, staff, other employees, students, student employees, physicians, patients, visitors, and volunteers associated with the University.


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Technical Safety Office
Idaho State University
Campus Box 8106
785 S. 8th St. PS Rm 101 
Pocatello, ID 83209
Phone: (208) 282-2310 or 282-2311
Fax: (208) 282-4649