Non-Hazardous Pharmaceuticals

The category of regulated non-hazardous pharmaceuticals covers the vast majority of the pharmaceuticals on the market and most likely the vast majority of the drugs you are working with.

The following pharmaceuticals fall under this category:

  • Over the counter (OTC) medications
  • Any non-RCRA prescription medications
  • Contraceptives
  • Antibiotics
  • Hormones
  • Previously destructed narcotics (non-DEA registrants only)

Don’t let the name confuse you – non-hazardous drugs can still be toxic to human health and the environment. They are merely called non-hazardous because they don’t appear on the Environmental Protection Agency’s RCRA hazardous chemical list YET! However, most of these drugs DO appear on the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the FDA lists of medications that are hazardous to human health and the environment.

Though they are not classified as hazardous, they are considered a special medical waste and must be managed in accordance with the State Medical Waste Regulations. Non-hazardous pharmaceuticals must be segregated from your standard medical waste, and treated separately by incineration. Under no circumstances can pharmaceutical waste be co-mingled with Regulated Medical Waste.

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