OZONATOR Industries Limited

Review on hospital wastes and its possible treatments


Medical waste management is of a great importance due to its potential impact to environment and consequently to human health. In the recent years, many efforts have been made by environmental regulatory agencies and waste generators to better managing the wastes from healthcare facilities. In the past, medical waste was often mixed with municipal solid waste and disposed in residential waste landfills or improper treatment facilities.

In the course of health protection, there are many medical wastes include medical treatment materials and scientific research; it forms a separate category of medical or health care waste (Ropeik and Gray, 2002). The fraction of waste generated at medical institutions, known as special or regulated medical waste (Lee et al., 2004) or otherwise known as clinical waste (WHO, 1994), has not attracted the same level of attention as other types of wastes, particularly in developing countries, despite the fact that medical waste is labeled as hazardous because it poses serious and direct threat to human health (Coad, 1992; WHO, 1999).

In many developing countries, no proper and efficient rule has been compiled as yet to deal with medical wastes management and also there is no useful information available. In this review the author is focusing on hospital wastes management, the condition of waste segregation, the types of wastes treatments and solving the identified problems were suggested.

Hospital wastes nature
“Hospital wastes” refers to all wastes, biological or non biological from hospitals, that is discarded and not intended for further use and these include: pathological, infectious, hazardous chemicals, radioactive wastes, stock cultures, blood and blood products, animal carcasses, pharmaceutical wastes, pressurized containers, batteries, plastics, low level radioactive wastes, disposable needles, syringes, scalpels and other sharp items. These are in addition to food wastes, clinical bandages, gauze, cotton, cotton and other miscellaneous wastes. Other types of waste include toxic chemicals, cytotoxic drugs, flammable and radioactive wastes that can often be considered infectious (Caltivelli, 1990).

Health care waste consists of solid, liquid and gaseous waste contaminated with organic and inorganic substance including pathogenic radionuclide generated from in vitro analysis of body microorganisms. Hospital waste possesses serious tissues and fluid. WHO (1999) reported that, about 85% of health hazard to the health workers, public and air hospital waste is non-hazardous, 10% infective and 5% flora on the area not infective but hazardous. In India, it was reported that the value could generated within the hospital environment could be increased from 15% to 35% depending on the total groups amount. In Pakistan for example about 20% non-hazardous particles such as kitchen waste, paper and of hospital waste could be found potentially infective or plastics, parts of human, foetus, blood and body fluid, hazardous (Agarwal 1998).

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