The AVMA is monitoring the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to tighten performance standards and emission guidelines for incinerators used to dispose of hospital, medical, and infectious wastes.
The EPA's proposal to amend regulations governing the use of these types of incinerators was published in the Dec. 1, 2008, Federal Register.
If finalized, the new rules are expected to minimally impact veterinary practices, according to Dr. Lynne White-Shim, an assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division.
"The bottom line is that, upon studying the issue and consulting veterinarians in this field, we found it unlikely to affect veterinarians much at all, except perhaps for slight increases in costs for incineration services—not cremation, but rather incineration of things such as plastic syringes and the like," Dr. White-Shim said.
The AVMA will not be commenting by the proposal deadline but will continue monitoring the issue for new developments. The comment deadline is Feb. 17, 2009.
Background on the proposal is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-27732.pdf (PDF, 291 Kb).