Topics: Waste, Hazardous waste, Wastewater Pages: 84 (16275 words) Published: December 4, 2013


1.1 Introduction

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) are one of the arising pollutants in the environment particularly in the bodies of water. Pharmaceutical waste, according to the Health Care Management Manual of the Department of Health (DOH), refers to the expired, spilt and contaminated pharmaceutical products, drugs, vaccines and sera that are no longer required and need to be disposed appropriately while personal care products refer to the hygienic needs used by individuals such as soaps, shampoos, fragrances and etc. Studies in US classified the pharmaceutical waste into two types, the hazardous and non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste. Improper disposal of these wastes will have an adverse impact not only to the environment but also to the human health. Using out-dated personal care products can cause irritation to the skin or worse skin cancer. Proper disposal of personal care products need attentions, because mishandling can affect the environment. According to the Department of Health (DOH) Health Care Management Manual, “The management of health care waste in the country is driven by concerns about adverse health and environmental effects, uncertainty regarding regulations, and the negative perceptions by waste handlers.” Improper disposal of such materials especially medicines which consist of different chemicals could contaminate our environment. According to Engr. Zoraida Cuadra, Health Care Waste Engineer of Department of Health, medical wastes are disposed accordingly to their type or classification. Even pharmaceutical drugs are differentiated according to its physical and toxic level. Since incineration is no longer allowed due to the harmful chemicals it will emit to the environment, DOH adopts new processes of disposing their pharmaceuticals such as inertization, encapsulation and pyrolysis, as indicated in “Health Care Management Manual Third Edition 2011” that will lessen the pollution it will emit. As much as possible, hospitals try to avoid extending medicines on storage for a long time to avoid expiration of medicine. In cases of out-dated medicines, they usually return it to the suppliers. The suppliers will be the one in charge on handling and treating the out-dated medicine that will be directed to the landfill. In some cases, DOH also considers doing encapsulation. Another common way is by flushing the medicines in canals, sinks and toilet bowls that will go straight to the waste water treatment facility of the hospital. DOH already required all hospital to comply or have their own waste water treatment facility and non-compliance to this requirement will be revoked to operate. As stated by Engr. Blesilda Macasero, Section Head of Hazardous Waste Management Department of the DENR-EMB, the out-dated medicine in all hospitals in Metro Manila are required to bring it back to the supplier while the personal care waste are returned by retailers to the manufacturers to properly dispose and treat. PPCPs could be collected by licensed EMB transporters. These transporters are the one who are in charge to bring the out-dated medicine to the DENR-EMB registered hazardous wastes treaters before being directed to the landfill. The Zuellig Pharma Corporation, distributors and suppliers of pharmaceuticals, is the one who is responsible in collecting and treating the out-dated medicine in most of the pharmacies in Metro Manila. According to DOH and DENR-EMB, some cases of out-dated PPCPs are returned to the manufacturers and they will be the one to handle the disposal, thus the researchers came up with the idea of studying the drug manufacturers’ proper disposal of pharmaceutical and personal care product (PPCP) wastes how they treat them before discharging to the bodies of water.

1.2 Significance of the Study

The study on proper disposal of out-dated PPCPs seems out of civil engineering concerns but in fact, out-dated PPCPs are considered waste,...
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