A new standard from ASTM International focuses on the unique requirements and challenges associated with decommissioning and disposing of used medical equipment.
E3173 addresses how to deal with used medical equipment that may be contaminated with dangerous chemicals, pathogens, or other potentially hazardous materials. Such equipment at the end of its life cycle might also have nuclear power sources that need to be handled.
“In addition, much medical equipment records personal information of patients,” ASTM International member Gary Quinn said. “That information must be sanitized.”
E3173 also touches on issues surrounding selling medical equipment—particularly pieces that can only be sold to those who have a license to acquire such pieces.
Medical clinics, hospitals, universities, and laboratories that use medical equipment will find the new standard useful.
E3173 was developed by ASTM’s committee on asset management. The subcommittee that developed the standard is creating other guides that deal with medical decommissioning and disposal issues. Interested parties are invited to join.
The committee will next meet on August 7 in Chicago, Illinois.