Chryssa V. Deliganis and Steve P. Calandrillo, Syringes in the Sea: Why Federal Regulation of Medical Waste Is Long Overdue, 41 Ga. L. Rev. 169 (2006), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/135
Georgia Law Review
Medical waste is produced everywhere that people live and by almost everyone at some point in their lives. Its treatment and disposal implicates the environment, public health, the economy, human dignity, and aesthetics. With the many issues involved, the need for federal regulation of medical waste today is manifest.
This Article examines the problem of medical waste disposal and evaluates the current state-based approach to regulation. Although many states have implemented stringent medical waste programs with some success, the absence of direct federal regulation in this area is problematic. The need for national leadership is clear, especially with respect to the unique problems associated with interstate transport and the increasing prevalence of medical waste created by individual sources. At a minimum, federal regulation should include uniform tracking and definitions, minimum standards for safe handling and disposal, and central collection sites for small generators.