Bio-medical Waste: a Biohazard

Biohazard also known as biological hazard, is basically a biological substance that poses a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily humans. They include the micro- organisms, virus or toxins that may adversely have an effect on human health. A biohazard might even be a substance harmful to alternative animals. Biohazard and its symbol are usually used as a warning, in order that those probably exposed to the substances can grasp to require precautions. Sources of biological hazards include microorganism, viruses, insects, plants, birds, animals, and humans. These sources will cause a range of health effects starting from skin irritation and allergies to infections, cancer. Biohazards are the biological materials like plats, micro-organisms, or their by-products that pose as a threat to the other living organisms. It basically is the negative impact of biological pathogens of different levels and origins which cause harm to different spheres like medical, agricultural, domestic etc.

Biomedical waste is defined as any waste, which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunisation of human beings or animals, or in research activities pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals.

Medical care and hospitals are basic need for good life, well-being and health. But with this they generate a lot of waste which can be hazardous, toxic and lethal for humans and other living beings because it can be a main reason for transmission of diseases. Since beginning, the hospitals are known for the treatment of sick persons but we are unaware about the adverse effects of the garbage and filth generated by them on human body and environment. Now it is a well established fact that hospital waste is a potential health hazard to the health care workers, public and flora and fauna of the area. The medical waste contains infectious, biomedical as well as sharps like injections, knives and now there is a addition to the medical waste which are PPE kits which a doctor wears while treating a corona positive patient or there are used masks, used tissues, cottons etc. in todays conditions it is very important to dump the biomedical waste according to the norms so that it cannot transmit any kind of infection, especially for the waste related to corona virus because the cases are increasing day by day. If the waste is not properly treated or dispose or is allowed to get mixed with the municipal waste then it can surely transmit infection. The subject of biomedical waste management and handling has been assuming increasing significance for the past few years. The responsibility of medical administrators as regards proper handling and disposal of this category of waste has now become a statutory requirement. The rag pickers are typically worst affected, as a result of inadvertently or inadvertently, they rummage through all types of toxic material whereas attempting to salvage things that they’ll sell for recycle. At identical time, this sort of banned and unethical recycle are often very dangerous and even fatal. Diseases like Asiatic cholera, plague, T.B., infectious disease, AIDS (HIV), contagious disease etc. in either epidemic or perhaps endemic kind, create grave public health risks. And now in addition to these disease there is corona virus infection which is currently the reason for most deaths.

About the rules and Regulations the act passed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1986 and notified the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules in July 1998, it is the duty of every “occupier”, i.e. a person who has the control over the institution or its premises, to take all steps to ensure that waste generated is handled without any adverse effect to human health and environment. The provisions are equally applicable to our service hospitals.
The quantity of biomedical waste generated per bed per day will vary depending upon the type of health problems, the type of care provided and the hospital waste management practices. It varies from 1 to 2 kg in developing countries to 4.5 kg in developed countries such as USA. 10 to 15% of the waste is infectious in developed countries whereas it varies from 45.5 to 50% in India, requiring special handling.

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