From:"Garrison, Becky" <>

We dispose all waste from the cutting room as biohazard waste.   There is
very little paper trash generated in this area which is not potentially
contaminated. Re: your blood and mucous gauze:  don't you wear gloves when
handling?  Should you not then treat gauze/paper materials that contact this
blood and mucous as biohazardous?   If paper waste or gauze is saturated
with formalin, it is placed in the exhaust hood to exhaust vapors, then goes
into biohazard waste.

Becky Garrison
Pathology Supervisor
Shands Jacksonville
-----Original Message-----
From: Lee & Peggy Wenk []
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 6:58 AM
To: Histonet

Have another question.

How are labs disposing of the "paper waste" from the gross rooms?

I'm talking about the paper towels, gauze and absorbent pads used in the
gross rooms to absorb the formalin, blood, mucous, etc.

It used to be, when tissues sat in formalin a long time before we
grossed them, that we disposed of these towels, etc. in the regular trash,
in a trash container than had a lid with a swinging door to keep the
fumes somewhat contained. This trash was then taken to a local
incinerator, along with  the regular trash.

(Please note: tissue was NOT put in this trash. Only the absorbent pads.)

Got thinking about it the other day. More specimens are coming down fresh.
Also, we now have more pick-ups throughout the day, so more
specimens have been in formalin less than 30 minutes.

So are these towels, etc. more of a biohazard and should be disposed of
in biohazard bags, or is disposing with the regular trash still acceptable?

I haven't checked with our epidemiology people. I don't know what
the floors and EC do with their gauze with blood, for example. Would
like to know what other pathology gross areas are doing.

You can answer through Histonet, or you can answer directly to me at

Either way, I'll let the Histonet community know the results of this


Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073

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