SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2391






                        52nd Legislature

                      1992 Regular Session

Passed by the House February 12, 1992

  Yeas 92   Nays 0




Speaker of the

       House of Representatives


Passed by the Senate March 3, 1992

  Yeas 46   Nays 0



I, Alan Thompson, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2391 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




President of the Senate

                               Chief Clerk



Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.





Governor of the State of Washington

                        Secretary of State

                       State of Washington



                            SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2391



                     Passed Legislature - 1992 Regular Session



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By House Committee on Environmental Affairs (originally sponsored by Representatives Horn, Rust, Pruitt, Bray, J. Kohl, Brekke, Edmondson, D. Sommers, Valle and May)


Read first time 01/27/92.  Regulating biomedical waste.

     AN ACT Relating to biomedical waste; adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.  The legislature finds and declares that:

     (1) It is a matter of state-wide concern that biomedical waste be handled in a manner that protects the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the environment, and the workers who handle the waste.

     (2) Infectious disease transmission has not been identified from improperly disposed biomedical waste, but the potential for such transmission may be present.

     (3) A uniform, state-wide definition of biomedical waste will simplify compliance with local regulations while preserving local control of biomedical waste management.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  DEFINITIONS.  Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) "Biomedical waste" means, and is limited to, the following types of waste:

     (a) "Animal waste" is waste animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that are known to be infected with, or that have been inoculated with, human pathogenic microorganisms infectious to humans.

     (b) "Biosafety level 4 disease waste" is waste contaminated with blood, excretions, exudates, or secretions from humans or animals who are isolated to protect others from highly communicable infectious diseases that are identified as pathogenic organisms assigned to Biosafety level 4 by the centers for disease control, national institute of health, biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories, current edition.

     (c) "Cultures and stocks" are wastes infectious to humans and includes specimen cultures, cultures and stocks of etiologic agents, wastes from production of biologicals and serums, discarded live and attenuated vaccines, and laboratory waste that has come into contact with cultures and stocks of etiologic agents or blood specimens.  Such waste includes but is not limited to culture dishes, blood specimen tubes, and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures.

     (d) "Human blood and blood products" is discarded waste human blood and blood components, and materials containing free-flowing blood and blood products.

     (e) "Pathological waste" is waste human source biopsy materials, tissues, and anatomical parts that emanate from surgery, obstetrical procedures, and autopsy.  "Pathological waste" does not include teeth, human corpses, remains, and anatomical parts that are intended for interment or cremation.

     (f) "Sharps waste" is all hypodermic needles, syringes with needles attached, IV tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, and lancets that have been removed from the original sterile package.

     (2) "Local government" means city, town, or county.

     (3) "Local health department" means the city, county, city-county, or district public health department.

     (4) "Person" means an individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, consortium, joint venture, commercial entity, state government agency, or local government.

     (5) "Treatment" means incineration, sterilization, or other method, technique, or process that changes the character or composition of a biomedical waste so as to minimize the risk of transmitting an infectious disease.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  STATE-WIDE DEFINITION OF BIOMEDICAL WASTE.  The definition of biomedical waste set forth in section 2 of this act shall be the sole state definition for biomedical waste within the state, and shall preempt biomedical waste definitions established by a local health department or local government.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  WASTE TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES.  (1) At the request of an applicant, the department of health, in consultation with the department of ecology and local health departments, may evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of biomedical waste treatment technologies.  The department shall make available the results of any evaluation to local health departments.

     (2) All direct costs associated with the evaluation shall be paid by the applicant to the department of health or to a state or local entity designated by the department of health.

     (3) For the purposes of this section, "applicant" means any person representing a biomedical waste treatment technology that seeks an evaluation under subsection (1) of this section.

     (4) The department of health may adopt rules to implement this section.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  CAPTIONS.  Section headings as used in this act do not constitute any part of the law.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  SEVERABILITY.  If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE.  (1) Sections 2 and 3 of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.

     (2) Section 4 of this act shall take effect October 1, 1992.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.  Sections 1 through 6 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 70 RCW.