Biomedical Waste

Topics: Waste management, Waste, Waste-to-energy Pages: 8 (2012 words) Published: January 22, 2011
Biomedical waste, also known as infectious waste or medical waste, is defined as solid waste generated during the diagnosis, testing, treatment, research or production of biological products for humans or animals. Biomedical waste includes syringes, live vaccines, laboratory samples, body parts, bodily fluids and waste, sharp needles, cultures and lancets. Biomedical waste consists of solids, liquids, sharps, and laboratory waste that are potentially infectious or dangerous. It must be properly managed to protect the general public, specifically healthcare and sanitation workers who are regularly exposed to biomedical waste as an occupational hazard. Biomedical waste differs from other types of hazardous waste, such as industrial waste, in that it comes from biological sources or is used in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases. Common producers of biomedical waste include hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, medical research laboratories, offices of physicians, dentists, and veterinarians, home health care, and funeral homes. 2) common sources of Bio-medical waste:

Biomedical waste is generated in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, medical laboratories, blood banks, animal houses etc. Such a waste can also be generated at home if health care is being provided there to a patient (e.g. injection, dressing material etc.) Because biomedical waste can be detrimental to human health, the law requires such facilities to follow procedures that protect the public from coming into contact with it. Agencies that regulate different aspects of biomedical waste include Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 3) Management and disposal of Bio-medical waste:

The Biomedical Waste Management & Handling Rules 1998 require all Hospitals, Nursing homes, Municipal Corporations, Clinics, Pathological Labs, Blood Banks animal houses, research institutes etc who generate, collect , receive, store, transport, treat, dispose or handle bio-medical waste in any form that It shall be the duty of every occupier of an institution generating bio-medical waste to ensure that such waste is handled without any adverse effect to human health and environment.

While urban solid waste has attracted the attention of town planners, environmental activists and civic administrators, there is yet lack of concern for some special sources of waste and its management. Handling, segregation, mutilation, disinfection, storage,

transportation and final disposal are vital steps for safe
and scientific management of biomedial waste in any
establishment [3]. The key to minimisation and effective
management of biomedical waste is segregation
(separation) and identification of the waste. The most
appropriate way of identifying the categories of
biomedical waste is by sorting the waste into colour
coded plastic bags or containers. Biomedical waste incineration, autoclave, hydroclave or microwave.

The waste disposal methods vary in their capabilities, cost, availability to generation and impacts on the environment. The various disposal methods include incineration, autoclaving, chemical methods, thermal methods (low and high), ionizing radiation process, deep burial and microwaving incineration and autoclaving are considered traditional methods. Chitnis et al have devised a solar heating system for disinfecting infectious waste in economically less developed countries. They obtained a considerable reduction in the amount of viable bacteria by this method. However, 'considerable reduction in viable number of bacteria' seems to be misleading term. The medical waste should be completely free of pathogenic bacteria before disposal . This would ensure maximum public hygiene quality. Untreated medical waste can be disposed off in sanitary landfills. Disposal without treatment is not recommended for human tissues, sharps and...
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