Infectious Medical Waste & Disease Control

How Do I...

Respond to an exposure incident: needle stick or a splash in the eye, nose, or mouth?

  • The very first thing to do is immediately wash the affected area with soap and water, or rinse the eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Do not use bleach, although the use of an antiseptic is not discouraged.
  • Seek professional medical attention. Federal laws requires that occupational exposure incidents be properly documented.
  • More information on exposure incident response.

Respond to a Infectious Medical Waste spill or discharge?

  • Personnel who respond to or clean up spills of infectious medical waste must be trained on safe handling techniques and employ these techniques, and they must have appropriate personal protective equipment and use the PPE from the emergency spill kit.
  • If the spill involves a waste transport vehicle and waste in excess of fifty (50) pounds, the operator and the WV Infectious Medical Waste Program must be notified immediately.
  • The area of the spill should be identified with caution tape so that no unauthorized personnel are allowed to enter.
  • The spill should be saturated with a disinfectant solution. A listing of approved disinfectants is maintained by the EPA. Only products listed in Table B and Table E are approved for use in spill clean up in West Virginia.
  • The spill should be cleaned up and absorbent materials disposed of as infectious medical waste. Broken glass or other sharps should be collected with a shovel or dust pan to prevent injury.
  • The area should be saturated with disinfectant solution again and allowed to remain saturated in accordance with the manufacturer's directions.
  • After the allotted time, the spill area should be wiped or mopped again, and any disposable materials, including PPE, can be discarded as solid waste unless grossly contaminated with blood.
  • Immediate actions should be taken to replenish the supplies used from the emergency spill kit.

Determine if my facility needs an Infectious Medical Waste permit?

  • Any facility generating over 50 pounds of Infectious Medical Waste per month is classified as a Large Quantity Generator, and is required to obtain a permit from our Office.
  • You can download the permit application here.
  • Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Obtain a permit to haul infectious medical waste in West Virginia?

  • Vehicles used to haul waste are required to be permitted by our Office. Section 9 of the West Virginia Infectious Medical Waste Rule addresses the requirements of transporters
  • You can download the vehicle permit application here.
  • Instructions on how to download a copy of the Rule are below.

Obtain a copy of the West Virginia Infectious Medical Waste Rule?

  • The rule is available online at the West Virginia Secretary of State's web site.
  • Go to the bottom of the page and select the format you wish to download the Rule in: MS Word or WordPerfect.
  • You can also get a printed version of the Rule from the
    West Virginia Secretary of State
    Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
    1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
    Charleston, WV 25305-0770
    (304) 558-8000

Report a problem at a medical facility?

Make a solution of bleach water to use as a disinfectant?

  • When using bleach as a disinfectant, a fresh solution must be made each day.
  • For routine cleaning/disinfecting of normal surfaces that are not grossly contaminated a 1:100 solution of bleach is recommended.
    Add 3 Tablespoons (1.5 fl. oz.) of household bleach to 1 gallon of water, 1 Tablespoon (0.5 fl. oz.) per 1 pint of water.
  • To clean up a large volume of infectious fluids, such as during an infectious medical waste spill, a 1:10 solution of bleach to water should be used.
    Add 1.6 Cups (13 fl. oz.) of household bleach to 1 gallon of water, 1/4 Cup (2 fl. oz.) per 1 pint of water.
  • The above calculations are based on regular bleach which contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). If the product you use has less than 5.25%, you will need to add more bleach.

Dispose of sharps and medical waste generated at home?