Medical Waste Can Impact The Environment Severely
The mismanagement of medical waste has dire consequences on the environment. Though 85% of medical waste can be categorised as non-hazardous according to WHO, the remaining 15% could be toxic, radioactive or infectious that pose a huge threat to the environment and public health. Being hazardous and sensitive makes it even more challenging to choose an appropriate disposal method for medical waste as one wrong step can result in the leaking of some toxic element. The burning of health care waste emits dioxins, furans, and particulate matter in the atmosphere. Alternatives such as microwaving, autoclaving, and steam treatment integrated with internal mixing can prove to be beneficial and reduce the chances of releasing toxins and chemicals. As per WHO, “Lack of awareness about the health hazards related to health-care waste, inadequate training in proper waste management, absence of waste management and disposal systems, insufficient financial and human resources and the low priority given to the topic are the most common problems connected with health-care waste. Many countries either do not have appropriate regulations or do not enforce them”.