List of biomedical waste management rules

List of biomedical waste management rules

Biomedical waste is commonly known as hospital waste and is any kind of waste that contains potentially infectious materials. Primarily, there are four types of medical waste. These include general, infectious, hazardous and radioactive wastes. This waste may either be in solid or liquid form, and their generation relates to the diagnosis or treatment of humans as well as animals.

Steps involved in the management of biomedical waste

  1. Segregation of waste – infectious waste, pathological waste, sharps, pharmaceutical waste, genotoxic waste, chemical waste, metallic waste, pressurised containers, radioactive waste.
  2. Collection of waste– biomedical bins, colour-coded biomedical waste containers, biomedical waste trolley bins, etc.
  3. Storage of waste (max. 42 hours)
  4. Transportation of waste
  5. Treatment/ disposal of waste – Incineration, autoclaving, deep burial, chemical treatment, shredding, etc.

The efficient dumping of biomedical waste lessens the adverse effect on health workers as well as on the environment. In India, it is seen that 85% of biomedical waste is non-hazardous and 15% is infectious or hazardous. It is, therefore, necessary to separate the hazardous and non-hazardous waste to prevent any risk of infection and other diseases.

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Biomedical waste management rules in India-2016

  • The realm of the biomedical waste management rule has been extended to include vaccination, blood donation or surgical camps as well as any other healthcare activity.
  • Get rid of chlorinated bags, hand gloves and blood bags within a span of two years.
  • The laboratory or microbiological waste, blood samples and bags should necessarily be pre-treated through the process of disinfection as recommended by the World Health Organisation or National Aids Control Organisation.
  • Providing training and immunising all the health care workers is a must.
  • Containers that carry biomedical waste disposal should follow a bar-code system.
  • Any major accidents should be immediately and necessarily be reported. The incinerators need to achieve the standards for retention time in the secondary chamber
  • For better segregation of biomedical waste, it needs to be classified into 4 categories instead of 10 categories.
  • As per the new rules, more severe criteria for incinerators have been recommended in order to control and decrease the release of pollutants in the environment.
  • Control and restriction of dioxin and furans emissions. 
  • The State Government needs to arrange for land in order to set up common biomedical waste treatment and facilities for waste disposal.
  • No inhabitant should reside within the periphery of the on-site treatment waste and waste disposal facility, at a minimum distance of seventy-five kilometres.
  • Biomedical waste collection from the HCFs needs to be collected on time for the process of biomedical waste treatment by the facility workers who deal with liquid and solid waste disposal.

Some of the key amendments that were made in biomedical waste management rules in the year 2018 include

  • Biomedical waste originators such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, etc. will have to abandon the use of chlorinated plastic bags and hand gloves by March 27, 2019.
  • As per the Biomedical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018, the annual report of all healthcare facilities need to be made available on the respective websites within two years span from the date of publication of the rules.
  • The guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board for barcoding and global positioning system for handling biomedical waste should be strictly followed by March 27, 2019.
  • Detailed district-wise information on biomedical waste generation, healthcare facilities with captive treatment, common biomedical waste treatment and waste disposal facilities should be sent out to the Central Pollution Control Board in a new form by the State Pollution Boards or Pollution Control Committees.
  • Workers who have administrative control over the institution and premises that generate biomedical waste need to pre-treat the laboratory and microbiological wastes, as well as blood samples and bags through on-site disinfection or sterilization as prescribed by the World Health Organization and further, must be sent to the common biomedical waste treatment facility for disposal of waste

Main problems of waste management in India

  1. Inappropriate waste collection methods
  2. Improper segregation of different types of waste products
  3. Unregulated manual scavenging
  4. Problems such as the production of excessive wastes that include toxin wastes too
  5. Unsustainable treatment/ disposal of waste
  6. Ethical problems in terms of waste collection and disposal regulations, which rely on vested interests

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