Sharps and Biohazardous Waste

Effective: 9/10/2008
Reviewed and Updated: February 2023
Contact: Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)


Biohazardous waste is defined as any biologically contaminated waste, including sharps contaminated with biological materials, that could potentially cause harm to humans, domestic or wild animals, plants, or the environment. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • human, animal, or plant pathogens
  • transgenic animals or plants
  • biological toxins (such as tetanus toxin)
  • human or primate cell culture¬†
  • human blood and certain body fluids
  • recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids

Policy Statement

All personnel who generate biohazardous waste must follow the procedures outlined in the ISU Sharps and Biohazardous Waste Procedures for disinfection and disposal of biohazardous waste and sharps.