Disposal of medical waste is a concern of nearly all healthcare facilities operational around the world. According to the World Health Organization, 16 billion injections are annually administered worldwide, with nowhere for needles and syringes to be disposed of properly. This creates an increased risk of infection transfer (such as hepatitis B, C, and HIV) and the possibility that the needle may intentionally or unintentionally be reused.
Only a tiny portion of the budget is allocated yearly for proper medical waste disposal, even though 15 percent of the total waste generated by all healthcare facilities is either toxic, radioactive, or infectious. Burning openly or incinerating these hazardous waste substances often leads to the emission of furans, dioxins, and particulate matter, which pose a risk to the general public, as well as the environment. Here’s a list of challenges faced in hazardous medical waste management:
Biohazard medical waste is a prominent source of infections as it contains several harmful microorganisms. Healthcare workers, patients, and attendants tend to be exposed most to hazardous substances. Still, the potential harm is carried onto the general public in the form of air pollution, toxic exposure, chemical burns, and radiation burns from severely harmful pharmaceutical substances (including dioxins and mercury). Waste incineration is a process that dramatically increases the rate of risks involved.
The incorrect disposal of biohazard waste tends to end up near waterbodies, contaminating drinking water, groundwater, and other surface bodies of water. The US geological survey revealed that 80 percent of the total 139 streams test positive for traces of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCP). Additionally, they may also release dangerous chemical substances into the environment — such is the case with deficient waste incineration as it releases several hazardous air pollutants (including furans and dioxins) into the atmosphere linked to cancer and other health implications on several instances. Likewise, the incineration of heavy metals causes the diffusion of toxic metals across the environment.
The Ultimate Solution
Unfortunately, there’s a long way to for the implementation of rules regarding medical waste. All healthcare facilities must take measures to safely dispose of biohazardous waste management to prevent the adverse impact on the environment and other biological hazards. Areas of infection control and clinical waste management must be well-maintained in order to prevent the spread of deadly viruses, such as the novel coronavirus. Aren’t you glad Medical Systems is operating full-time in Denver, Colorado?
Medical Systems is a full-service healthcare safety company fully licensed and regulated with all state and OSHA waste management regulations for pickups and disposal services in Denver. From sharps, biohazard, and chemotherapy to infectious and pathology waste, we are a medical waste removal company that collects and brings awareness to healthcare providers to be able to dispose of medical waste without damaging the environment adequately.