A number of recent incidents involving improper handling and disposal of hospital waste have prompted the demand for more stringent legislation to cover the management of infectious hospital waste. Resolution 53 (December 1987 Interim Meeting) called for the American Medical Association to promote the passage of federal legislation for the proper disposal of infectious hospital waste. This resolution has prompted a Council on Scientific Affairs report on the current status of infectious hospital waste management and of state and federal regulations to control such waste. The Council has concluded that existing federal and state regulations for the management of hazardous waste--in conjunction with the accreditation program of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control, if adhered to and properly enforced--should be adequate to ensure that the public and environment are not endangered. Therefore, the Council does not favor additional federal legislation at this time and recommends that this report be accepted in lieu of Resolution 53.