Current World Environment
Vol. 7(1), 117-124 (2012)
Need of Biomedical Waste Management System in Hospitals - An Emerging issue - A Review PRAVEEN MATHUR, SANGEETA PATAN* and ANAND S. SHOBHAWAT
Department of Environmental Science, MDS University Ajmer - 305 009 (India). (Received: April 24, 2012; Accepted: May 27, 2012) ABSTRACT Medical care is vital for our life and health, but the waste generated from medical activities represents a real problem of living nature and human world. Improper management of waste generated in health care facilities causes a direct health impact on the community, the health care workers and on the environment Every day, relatively large amount of potentially infectious and hazardous waste are generated in the health care hospitals and facilities around the world. Indiscriminate disposal of BMW or hospital waste and exposure to such waste possess serious threat to environment and to human health that requires specific treatment and management prior to its final disposal. The present review article deals with the basic issues as definition, categories, problems relating to biomedical waste and procedure of handling and disposal method of Biomedical Waste Management. It also intends to create awareness amongst the personnel involved in health care unit.
Key words: Hazardous waste, Biomedical Waste Management, Health care unit.
INTRODUCTION Biomedical waste management has recently emerged as an issue of major concern not only to hospitals, nursing home authorities but also to the environment. the bio-medical wastes generated from health care units depend upon a number of factors such as waste management methods, type of health care units, occupancy of healthcare units, specialization of healthcare units, ratio of reusable items in use, availability of infrastructure and resources etc.1 The proper management of biomedical waste has become a worldwide humanitarian topic today. Although hazards of poor management of biomedical waste have aroused the concern world over, especially in the light of its far-reaching effects on human, health and the environment.2 Now it is a well established fact that there are many adverse and harmful effects to the environment including human beings which are caused by the “Hospital waste” generated during
the patient care. Hospital waste is a potential health hazard to the health care workers, public and flora and fauna of the area. The problems of the waste disposal in the hospitals and other health-care institutions have become issues of increasing concern. 3 Definition According to Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 of India “Any waste which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities pertaining thereto or in the production or testing of biologicals. 4 The Government of India (notification, 1998) specifies that Hospital Waste Management is a part of hospital hygiene and maintenance activities. This involves management of range of activities, which are mainly engineering functions, such as collection, transportation, operation or treatment of processing systems, and disposal of wastes. 4
MATHUR et al., Curr. World Environ., Vol. 7(1), 117-124 (2012) • • • • • Blood donation camps. Vaccination centers. Acupuncturists/psychiatric clinics/cosmetic piercing. Funeral services. Institutions for disabled persons
One of India’s major achievements has been to change the attitudes of the operators of health care facilities to incorporate good HCW management practices in their daily operations and to purchase on-site waste management services from the private sector. (Bekir Onursal, 2003) World Health Organization states that 85% of hospital wastes are actually non-hazardous, whereas 10% are infectious and 5% are noninfectious but they are included in hazardous wastes. About 15% to 35% of Hospital waste is regulated as infectious waste. This range is dependent on the total amount of waste generated (Glenn and Garwal, 1999).5 Classification of Bio-Medical Waste The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified medical waste into eight categories: ´ General Waste ´ Pathological ´ Radioac...