Question: What environmental benefits does EPA expect from new management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals?

Answer: EPA is proposing to reduce the risk caused by hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that enter the environment through flushing down the sink or toilet. Specifically, this proposal is projected to prevent the flushing of over 6,400 tons of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals annually by banning healthcare facilities from using this practice to dispose of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.

With this proposal, EPA strives to improve compliance at healthcare facilities (including hospitals, clinics, and retail stores with pharmacies) and pharmaceutical reverse distributors that generate and manage hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in order to improve environmental protection. Additionally, this proposed rule creates an environmentally preferable, convenient and practical management system that EPA encourages the healthcare sector to use for all waste pharmaceuticals.

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