What is Bio-Medical Waste?

Bio-medical waste covers health institutions (such as hospitals, laboratories, immunization work, blood banks, etc.) in human and animal physiological waste and equipment used for treatment.

You and we cannot estimate how dangerous this biomedical waste is for our health and environment. This not only spreads more diseases, but also water, land and air are all contaminated.

This garbage may be a minor waste for a hospital, but according to the Government of India and the Medical Council of India, it is a death item. Such wastes also cause fear of diseases like infex, HIV, epidemic, hepatitis.

Let us know what is biomedical waste, how it is produced and how to deal with it properly?

What is Bio-Medical Waste?

This waste contains glass and plastic glucose bottles, injections and syringes, empty bottles of medicines and used IV sets, gloves and other supplies. Apart from this, various reports, receipts and hospital slips are also included.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this waste from hospitals is divided into the following sections:

  • Medicinal substances:  It contains leftovers and old and bad medicines.
  • Diseased substances:  The patient gets urine, vomit, human organs etc.
  • Radioactive substances:  It contains various radioactive substances such as radium, X-rays and cobalt etc.
  • Chemical substances:  It contains various chemical substances used in batteries and labs.

In addition to the above, there are also some common substances that contain medicines, wrappers, paper, reports, X-ray films and kitchen waste. Not only this, some other substances like glucose bottles, needles, gloves etc. also fall into biomedical waste.

What are the sources of biomedical waste?

The main sources of biomedical waste are government and private hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries and primary health centers. Apart from these various medical colleges, research centers, paramedical services, blood banks, morgue, autopsy centers, veterinary colleges, animal research centers, health production centers and various biomedical educational institutes also produce large quantities of biomedical waste.

Apart from the above, some biomedical waste also comes out of general practitioners, dental clinics, animal houses, butchers, blood donation camps, acupuncturists, psychiatric clinics, funeral services, vaccination centers and disability educational institutions.

How dangerous is this bio-medical waste?

The waste coming out of hospitals is quite deadly. The reuse of dipping and other tools used by throwing them in the open poses a risk of infectious diseases. It cannot even be burned by burning under normal temperature.

If the waste is not consumed at a set temperature of 1,150 ° C, it continuously produces organic pollutants such as dioxins and furans, which can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems. These not only affect the immune system and fertility, but they also reduce sperm and sometimes cause diabetes.

Bio-medical waste management

85% of hospital waste is not dangerous and the remaining 15% can cause many diseases in animals and humans. Therefore, emphasis is placed on the recycle of these bio-medical items, which will create resistant microorganisms.

Recycling Process by Hospitals

With the help of bio-medical waste plant and disposal facilities, all the hospitals have to dispose of these items carefully. If more than 1000 people are treated per month in a hospital, then that hospital has to be settled according to law by classifying bio-medical waste according to different categories.

If bodily fluids are present in the dirt, then it is necessary to burn them, but most hospitals do not do this. Some times these items are put directly into the seas which flow back to the coastal areas.

Many doctors and health officials do not know how to deal with these items. Many types of medical waste bags come in different colored bags. Such as needles, blood-stained bandages, etc. have to be burnt by putting them in red bags.

The Guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board also have clear instructions that biomedical waste should be destroyed daily. For this, syringes, needles and bottles etc. should be disposed of on the spot i.e. destroyed immediately after use and put in separate bags and sent to the depot.

On the contrary, the reality is that garbage from hospital wards and operation theaters are transported through open trolleys. Of these, blood and other waste also falls on the way, due to which there is a possibility of spreading the infection to the patients and their families in the hospital.

Rule violation

The list of violators of Bio-Medical Waste regulations is with the Pollution Control Board of the local state governments. Strict action should be taken against those found guilty of pollution control board, whether they are government and private hospitals or nursing homes.

Law of 2016 (Bio-Medical Waste Management Rule, 2016 in Hindi)

This 2016 law is an amendment of the 1998 law. These new rules have been made keeping in mind the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

This law covers blood donation camps, vaccination camps, surgical camps and all other types of health camps.

Some important facts of this rule are: –

  • A bar code system should be implemented for bags filled with bio-medical items.
  • All health workers should be regularly trained and immunized from time to time.
  • Plastic bags including chlorine, gloves, blood bags etc. should be changed every two years.
  • A limit should be set for emission of dioxin etc.
  • To sterilize laboratory, microbial items, blood samples, blood bags etc. by sterilization.
  • Arrangements should be made by the state government to establish a major bio-medical waste disposal center in every region.
  • Legal procedures should be made easy for this work.
  • Bio-medical waste should be divided into four categories so that they can be dealt with easily.
  • Bio-medical items should be regularly treated and reported to the government.
  • There should be no residential complex within several km of the bio-medical waste treatment center.

What else should we do?

We and you also have an important role in the proper disposal and management of bio-medical waste. For this, we can protect ourselves and our environment from this biomedical waste by adopting the following:

  1. The waste must be transported in closed vehicles. Mixed waste should be segregated and disposed of under the prescribed procedure.
  2. Instead of burning and destroying the waste, there should be a system for re-cycling it.
  3. Biomedical and industrial waste should not be mixed with urban waste.
  4. Garbage vessels should be kept in place, from where there should be regular collection of garbage.
  5. Awareness programs should be organized to know about solid waste management.
  6. The process of picking up garbage by individuals should be completely banned.
  7. Do not put biomedical waste at the landfill site. Even if garbage is to be dumped on the landfill, a 10-millimeter soil layer should be laid immediately after the waste is added.
  8. Hospitals should also fully follow biomedical waste disposal regulations.

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