Bricks, mortar and a piece of metal are just some of the materials that can be used to sterilise and disinfect medical equipment.

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What are the dangers of cleaning up the mess?

It is important to understand what is happening in a facility and the potential consequences to human health and safety.

While there is no need to be alarmed about potential health effects from medical waste, it is a good idea to be aware of the potential for infection and exposure to potentially hazardous materials.

In some instances, medical waste can be reused in other medical facilities.

If a medical facility is to be closed down, there is a need to do all necessary cleanup before reopening.

What happens when medical waste is not properly disposed of?

When the cleaning process is complete, the medical waste will be collected and disposed of properly.

The Department of Health is aware of instances where medical waste has been used for non-medical purposes and will work with local communities to determine the appropriate use.

The most common reasons for medical waste not being properly disposed are that it has not been properly disinfected or sanitized.

Health Canada is working with local jurisdictions to ensure that these concerns are addressed.

Are there ways to reduce the risk of health effects?

The best way to reduce exposure to medical waste and the risk that healthcare workers may become infected is to use proper personal protective equipment.

There are many ways to do this, but they all require personal protective clothing, gloves, masks and face shields.

Read our article on personal protective gear for more information on how to wear protective gear in the workplace.