19 Bloodborne Pathogens Environmental Health and Safety D Decontamination and Disposal of PIM All human blood and other potentially infectious materials (PIMs) must be disinfected and disposed of according to the Iowa State University (ISU) Sharps and Biohazardous Waste Procedures. All sharps, including uncontaminated sharps, must also be disposed of according to this procedure. Waste containers for human blood and other PIMs must be: • closable • leak-proof • labeled with the biohazard symbol Sharps waste containers must also be puncture-resistant. Containers that are contaminated on the outside must be double bagged. Potentially Infectious Materials NOT Regulated as Potentially Infectious Materials Waste According to Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration (OSHA), certain items that are used to contain fluids, such as bandages, towels, sanitary napkins, or other feminine hygiene products used to absorb menstrual flow, are not considered to be PIMs for waste handling purposes unless they fail the “squeeze test.” These items fail the “squeeze test” when squeezing the item would cause blood to drip out, or cause dried blood to flake off. In these situations, the items must be considered PIMs. Note that even when these items pass the “squeeze test,” they should always be discarded in appropriately lined waste containers in order to prevent personnel from having contact with them. Decontamination of Non-disposable Items Spills of human blood or other PIMs must be decontaminated and cleaned immediately with an appropriate tuberculocidal disinfectant. Equipment and work areas where human blood and other PIMs are used routinely must be decontaminated on a regular basis (daily). Appropriate disinfectants for decontaminating human blood or other PIMs include: • A freshly made solution of sodium hypochlorite (such as a 1:10 dilution of household bleach and water – about 2 cups of bleach in a gallon of water). Bleach solutions that are more than one day old should not be used. • Any commercial disinfectant that is tuberculocidal (“tuberculocidal” will be indicated on the product label) is also appropriate for decontaminating human blood or other PIMs.