Biomedical waste

  • Biomedical waste, also known as healthcare or medical waste, refers to any waste generated during healthcare activities that may pose a threat to human health or the environment.
  • This waste includes sharps (needles, syringes), pathological waste (tissues, organs), pharmaceutical waste (expired medications), infectious waste (contaminated materials), and chemical waste (solvents, disinfectants). Proper management of biomedical waste is crucial to prevent the spread of infections and protect public health.
  • It involves segregation, collection, storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal in accordance with guidelines and regulations. Improper handling and disposal of biomedical waste can lead to the transmission of diseases, contamination of water and soil, and harm to healthcare workers, waste handlers, and the general public.

Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016

  • Bio-medical waste has been classified in to 4 categories instead 10 to improve the segregation of waste at source and these 4 categories have colour-code.
    • Red Bin for plastic waste such as bottles, syringes, etc.
    • Yellow Bin for infectious wastes such as cotton, bandage, placenta, etc.
    • Blue Bin for glass bottles like discarded medicines
    • Black Bin for needles without syringes, metal articles, etc.
  • Phase-out the use of chlorinated plastic bags, gloves and blood bags within two years.
  • The ambit of the rules has been expanded to include vaccination camps, blood donation camps, surgical camps or any other healthcare activity.
  • Pre-treatment of the laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples and blood bags through disinfection or sterilization on-site in the manner as prescribed by WHO or NACO.
  • State Government to provide land for setting up common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility.
  • No occupier shall establish on-site treatment and disposal facility, if a service of `common bio-medical waste treatment facility is available at a distance of seventy-five kilometers.
  • The new rules prescribe more stringent standards for incinerator to reduce the emission of pollutants in environment.
  • Inclusion of emissions limits for Dioxin and furans.
  • Establish a Bar-Code System for bags or containers containing bio-medical waste for disposal.
  • Provide training to all its health care workers and immunize all health workers regularly.
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