There is no evidence that solid or liquid wastes from hospitals, other healthcare facilities, or clinical and research laboratories are any more infectious than residential waste.10 Indeed, several studies that have compared the microbial load and the diversity of microorganisms between hospital and residential wastes concluded that, although hospital wastes have a greater number of different bacterial species, residential wastes are more heavily contaminated.
Moreover, there is no epidemiologic evidence suggesting that traditional waste-disposal practices of healthcare facilities (whereby clinical and microbiological wastes were decontaminated at the point of generation before leaving the facility) have caused disease in either the healthcare setting or the general community.10 However, this conclusion does not apply to occupational exposure to contaminated sharps in healthcare settings.
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