We explain what RPBI or Hazardous Biological-Infectious Waste are, what risk they represent, their regulation and several examples.

rpbi Hazardous Biological-Infectious Waste
RPBI may contain microorganisms, toxic substances and other harmful elements.

What does RBI mean?

RPBI are the acronyms given in Mexico for Hazardous Biological-Infectious Waste, that is, for those waste materials produced by medical and health serviceswhich may contain microorganisms, toxic substances and other elements harmful to health and capable of being transmitted to third parties.

These infectious agents can be of different types: bacteria, viruses or parasites in sufficient concentration to restart an infectious cycle in anyone who is accidentally exposed to this type of waste, whether human or animal.

Thus, the RBIs are public hazardous materials that require careful handling, for which health authorities dictate very specific treatment measures. The body that regulates matters relating to the RPBI is the Instituto Mexicano de Seguridad Social (IMSS).

RPBIs have the potential to trigger disease. They are generated by hospitals, medical-pathological research institutions, clinical laboratories, blood banks, psychiatric units and other similar facilities.

Depending on the amount of RPBI generated and its danger, these organizations must have a physical space to accumulate their waste and a strict procedure of temporary management in complete isolation from the public.

See also: Prevention

Examples of RPBI

Examples of RPBI are the following materials:

  • blood samples liquid or its components, either in containers or absorbent materials soaked in it.
  • Bacterial or viral culturesas well as tissue samples or secretions from infected patients.
  • Organic tissue samplesamputated organs or surgical biological waste.
  • Sharp or sharp tools that have been in contact with the patient’s body, such as needles, scalpels, etc.
  • Feces, urine and other substances secreted by the patient’s body.
  • Used medical or bioanalytical materialsuch as syringes, gauze pads, gloves, aprons, face masks or containers.

Continue with: Chemical Hazard


  • “RPBI – Infectious Hazardous Biological Waste” in the Government of the State of Jalisco (Mexico).
  • “Hazardous Biological-Infectious Waste” from the Faculty of Chemical Sciences of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua.
  • “Guide for the management of infectious biological hazardous waste in health facilities” in the Ministry of Health of the Government of Mexico.