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My Watershed

  Managing Pharmaceutical Waste

Pharmaceuticals are an important part of maintaining human health, but many pharmaceuticals contain toxic chemicals that can pollute the environment if they are not properly managed and disposed of.

Ecology works with health care facilities to ensure that pharmaceutical waste is handled and disposed of in accordance with both state and federal laws.

Properly managing pharmaceutical waste can be complicated, so Ecology offers resources and technical assistance to help health care facilities comply with the law and protect the environment.

Updated federal rules coming soon
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to update federal rules on pharmaceutical waste management.

When that update is complete, Ecology will in turn update Washington’s Dangerous Waste Regulations. This will clarify compliance standards, simplify pharmaceutical waste management and better protect human health and the environment.

Until we have new federal rules, Ecology’s Interim Enforcement Policy gives health care facilities options to safely manage and dispose of pharmaceutical waste.

More information