Bio-Medical Waste A Toxic Problem

BIO-MEDICAL WASTE: A TOXIC PROBLEM 18

Bio-MedicalWaste: A Toxic Problem

Bio-MedicalWaste: A Toxic Problem

Bio-medicalwasterefersto liquidorsolidwasteincludingcontainerandanyotherintermediateproductthat areproducedduring diagnosis,treatmentandimmunization of peopleandanimals,orthosegeneratedin researchrelatingto medicalprocessesandin testingandproductionof medicaldrugs(Mathur et al, 2012). Thechemical,biologicalandphysicaltoxicity natureofthe majorityof theseelementsandtheir potentialhazardare different,demandingdifferentmethodsfortheir disposalandtreatment.WorldHealth Organization indicatesthat85 percent of wastegeneratedfrom healthfacilitiesandprocessesare non-hazardous. Out of theremaining15% which is are referredto as hazardouswastes,5% is non-infectious while10% is infectious(Yadav,2001). Bio-medical wasteiscommonlydividedonto four maincategories,radioactive,infectious,andgeneralwaste.

Infectiouswasteholdsa largenumberof diseasecausingpathogen that are capableof causingillnessandspreadinginfectionsto peopleandanimalslivingin thatenvironment.Infectiouswasteincludesclothes,bandages,bodyfluids,surgicalgloves,syringes andblood.Hazardouswastesare bio-medical wastethat can causeimmenseharmto thehealthof humanbeingsandotheranimalsexposedto it(Basavanthappa,2008). Thistypeof wasteshould be handledmeticulously anddestroyedat hightemperaturessothattheyarebrokendown to their constituents’elementssuchas waterandcarbonwhich are not hazardous.In mostcases,hazardouswasteconsistsof complextoxiccompoundswhich are usedin variousdepartmentswithin thehospitalsetting.Radioactivewasteismadeup of bio-medical wastethat containsradioactiveelements,andas suchcannot be categorizedas eitherinfectiousorhazardouswastes(Yadav,2001). Thispaperwilldealwith fundamentalissuesas definition,categories,effect,risksandethicalaspectsrelatingto bio-medical wasteandproceduresof managementanddisposalof bio-medical waste.

Bio-MedicalWaste

Eventhoughmedicalcareis essentialforour wellbeing theenormousamountof wastegeneratedfrom medicalactivitiescan be hazardous,lethalandnoxiousbecauseof their highlatentof infectiontransmission.Ifthesewasteswerenot handledcorrectlyandtreatedappropriatelytheyposea greatriskto humanandanimalhealth(Martin&amp Gochfeld, 2000). Ifnot disposedof properlybio-medical wastecan be a proliferation groundfordisease causing vectors andotherpathogensthatcan invariablyharmthehealthof peoplewhomay be livingin suchan area.Ragpickers andotherindividualswhoserveas wasteworkerscan also getaffectedwhilerummagingthrough allmannerof bio-medical wastetryingto salvageitemsforreuse andsale.Diseasessuchas hepatitis, cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosisandplaguein eitherendemic orpandemic formposeseriouspublichealthhazard(Bisen&amp Raghuvanshi, 2013).

Wastegeneratedfrom medicalactionscan posea realproblemin thehumanworldandlivingnature.Inappropriatemanagementof bio-medical wastesproducedin healthfacilitiescausesa directhealtheffecton thecommunity,thewell-beingof healthcare workersandtheenvironment(Amal,2005). Eachdaya largeamountof toxicbio-medical wastesare producedin medicalfacilitiesaround theglobe.

Collectionand Transportation of Bio-Medical Wastes

Collectionof bio-medical wasteisdoneina waythatexposureispreventedas muchas possible.Nursingandothermedicalpersonnelshould ensurethatthere are wastebagsin their placesof workthatwillserveas collectionsitesforthebio-medical waste(Mathuret al, 2012). Bio-medical wasteshould be collectedon dailyoras frequentlyas feasibleandshippedto designatedtreatmentsites.Collectioncontainersshould belabeledbefore theyare removed,indicatingthepointof their generationwithin thehospitalpremises,departmentandcontent. Collectionbagsshould be restoredimmediatelyafter theoldonesareremoved(Mathuret al, 2012).

Asuitablestoragesiteshould beidentifiedinside thehealthcare institutionwhereall thecollection bagswith thebio-medical wasteswillbestored.Bio-medical wastesin thecollectionbagsshould bestoredin separate roomsorareasthat are aptto thequantitiesof bio-medical wastegeneratedwithin thehospitalsetting.Radioactivewastesshould bekeptin containersthat willavoiddispersionsuchas leadshielding (Yadav, 2001). Ontheotherhand,hazardousbio-medical wastesshould be transportedwithin thehospitalpremiseswith cartsandtrolleys that arenot usedforanyotherpurpose,andthatmeetthefollowingconditionseasyto loadandoffload, has nosharpedgesthat can tearthecollectionbagsin transitorwhileloadingandunloading,andare easyto clean.Suchcartsortrolleys should be disinfectedona regularbasisandregularlycleaned witha suitabledisinfectant (Naik, 2012).

Bio-medicalwastes are generally managed through a common treatment facility,commonly referred to as bio-medical waste treatment facility (CBWTF).Wastes originating from different healthcares facilities are treatedto reduce the undesirable impacts of the waste on human andenvironment (Mathur et al, 2012). Once the waste goes through thetreatment process it is recycled or thrown in a landfill. CBWTFreduces the exposure of human to hazardous elements in thebio-medical waste. There are numerous methods that are used in thetreatment process. Incineration is one of the common treatmentmethods and entails controlled combustion of bio-medical waste todestroy the harmful elements and organisms in the waste. Autoclavingentails use of steam to disinfect bio-medical waste, whilemicrowaving encompasses use of electronic radiation to inactivatemicrobial activity in bio-medical waste. Non-hazardous wastes aretaken through the shedding method where it is incised into minutechips to prevent reuse (Bisen &amp Raghuvanshi, 2013).

Individualswho areat Risk

Allpeoplewhoare in directcontactinfectiousandhazardousbiomedical wasteare potentiallyexposedto a rangeof healthrisksespeciallyin healthfacilitieswherebio-medical wastemanagementis inadequate.There are numerousgroupsof personswhoare at riskof exposureto bio-medical waste(Mathuretal,2012).In thehospital,nurses,pharmacists,doctorsandlaboratorytechnicians,supportstaffsuchas techniciansandlaundrystaff,technicalpersonnelsuchas wastemanagers,cleaners,carriersandmaintenancepersonnelare all at risk of exposure to bio-medical waste.Patientandotherguestsare alsoat threatof beingexposedto hazardousbio-medical wastein thehospitalsetting.Outside thehospitalpremise,individualsemployedto transportanddisposeof bio-medicalwasteare at riskof exposure,togetherwith youngchildrenwhosalvageobjectsfoundin opendumpsites near a hospital(Sharma,2007). Assaidabove, allpeoplethat are exposedto hazardousbio-medical wasteare potentiallyat risk,includingindividualsoutside thehealth-care establishmentthat generatebio-medical waste.

GlobalEffects of Bio-medical Waste

Theeffectof bio-medical wasteis multidimensional andcan be rootof manydamages in thecommunities.Slackness of healthcareinstitutionsto properly dispose waste affectsnot onlypeoplebutalsoour environmentandtheentirelivingorganism,especiallywildlife (Bisen &amp Raghuvanshi, 2013). Whenbio-medical wasteisnot managedproperly,itis extremelyriskyandcan be a greathealthhazardto allpeople.Illegaldumpinghas beenidentifiedas one of themajorproblemsthat contributeto glut of medicalwaste.Illegaldumpingof wastecan be veryriskyas itexposespeopleto dangerousthingssuchas syringes, infected tissuesandbodyfluidsthat may adverselyaffecttheir health.Forexample,syringes disposedof in a dumpster outside hospitalsmay be dangerousto children.Childrenare likelyto playaroundwith them not realizingthattheymay containHIV/AIDS infected blood.In otherinstancesprescriptionbottles,needles,as wellas syringes havebeenreportedto findtheir wayto waterbodies(Bisen&amp Raghuvanshi, 2013). Thiscauseswaterpollutionhenceendangeringthelivesof humanbeingsandanimalsthat livein water.Similarly,medicalwastedumpedin forestsmay exposewildanimalsto contagiousmedicalwaste.Therefore,thiswould posevaryingecologicaleffectsto theenvironmentsandto theentireecosystems. Impropermanagementof bio-medical wastein hospitalsmay produceundesirablehealtheffectsto thecommunity,environmentandhealthcareworkers.

Everyday,healthcarefacilities,andhospitalsgeneraterelativelyhugeamountsof potentiallyhazardousandinfectiousbio-medical wasteacross theglobeposingseriousthreatsto humanhealthandtheenvironment.For this reason,unwarrantedmedicalcostsforspecificmanagementandtreatmentof infectiousdiseasesare incurred asa productoflackadaisicaldiscardingof waste.Theinfectiousandhazardoustoxicwastefrom healthcarefacilitiesmay alsocontainradio-active materialsthat havelonglastingeffectsto theenvironment,as wellas thehumanhealth(Yadav,M, 2001). Moreover,bio-medical wastehas a propensityto encouragespreadandgrowthof diversevectors andpathogens causingtransmittable diseasesto public.In mostcases,wasteworkersin heath carefacilitiesare vulnerableto infections,becauseunsuspectingly orunwittingly,theyhandleallkindsof toxicbio-medical wastematerialsin an attemptto salvageitemsthat can bere-usedorsold(Naik,2012). Similarly,mostof thehealthcarefacilities’providersdonot enlightenworkersonhowto handlewastematerialshenceincreasingtheriskof infectiousdiseasesamong theworkers.Equallysignificantly, unethicalreuse of bio-medical wastemay be extremelyfatalandhazardousto thecommunity.Diseasessuchas cholera, tuberculosis,HIV/AIDS, plagueanddiphtheria in eitherendemic orepidemic form,poseserioushealthrisksto thepublic(Bisen&amp Raghuvanshi, 2013).

Manyof wastefrom health carefacilitiesare believedto be hazardousandpotentiallyinfectious.Therefore,hospitalshaveconsideredburningthem insteadof disposingtheminto thedumpsters. Although,theintentionof thistactic is good,its overall effectsmay negatively affecttheenvironmentandcauseharmfuleffectsto humanhealth.Whenburned,bio-medical wastemight causeairpollutionthrough emissionof poisonousgasessuchas carbonmonoxide andsulphur dioxide to theenvironment(Bisen&amp Raghuvanshi, 2013). Theeffectsof theseharmfulmaterialsare detrimentalto bothanimalsandhumanbeings.Someof thebio-medical materialsmay containdangerousmetalssuchas mercury anddioxins that may accumulateinlivingorganismscausinglonglastingeffects.Forexample,mercury might interferewith foetusdevelopmentleadingto birthdefectssince itis botha carcinogen andmutagen. Therefore,itis capableof causingmutationsin an organism’scellsandvarioustypesof cancer(Dhere,2013).

Dioxinis a commonnamegivento chlorinated hydrocarbons andmay be bothcarcinogenic andteratogenic. In mostcases,theyresultfrom burning of bio-medical wastethat containsPVC. Thesetoxinsarebelievedto causeedema in chickensleadingto hydropricardiumsyndrome(rapiddeathin chickens)(Bisen&amp Raghuvanshi, 2013). Similarly,thesetoxinshaveledto increasedratesof eggmortalityin wildbirdsas a resultofthinning of theeggshells. Whentheeggshatch justa fewchicks surviveandmostof them would havemanydefectssuchas twistedbeaks,shortlifespans,as wellas abnormalstructuresof thebrain.Dioxins havebeenassociatedwith reproductive,immunesystem,as wellas endocrine problems.Mercury as a neurotoxin might alsocausediverseproblemsto thelungs, thecentralnervoussystemandthekidneysthat may interferewith thenormalfunctioning of thehumanbody(Naik,2012).

Concentrationof mercury in organismsmay affectthem directlywhentheyingest them andfurtheritmayposeharmfulthreatsto predators of theseorganisms.Forinstance,youngfishare directlyorindirectlyexposedto eitherdioxins ormercury whentheyfindtheir wayto thewaterbodies.In particular,theyare usuallyat theriskof exposurefrom theeggstheyare hatchedinas a resultofpervasion of bio-medical wasteexposedto their parents.Additionally, theymay ingest toxicmaterialsonce theyarehatched(InternationalConference on Water and Environment, 2003). Therefore,youngfishare extremelyaffectedby toxinsthat are releasedinto thewaterbodiesas a resultofcaressdisposalof bio-medical wasteproducts.Theoverall effectsof thesetoxinsare that they transferredto birdsthatfeedon youngfishand may cause grave harm to their health when they accumulate intheir bodies.

Accordingto WHO(World Health Organization), bio-medical wasteapproximatelyaffect5 percent of patientsin hospitals(Yadav,2001). Thecomplexity of infectionsfrom thesewastescontinuesto risesignificantly with mostpeoplecontractinginfectiousdiseasesthat posehazardousheath effects.Similarly,impropermanagementof wastemay leadto multiplicationof diseasecarryingvectors suchas insects,wormsandrodents that aidinthe transmissionof infectiousdiseases.Inthe same way,unsuspectinghospitalworkersmay be injuredby syringes orothersharpobjectsthat may hazardousto their heath.

Likewise,medicalwaste,particularlybiologicalwastemay facilitatebreedingof pathogens that may not be presentwhenthewasteis beingdisposed.Althoughthesewastematerialsareusuallycomprisedof bloodorhumantissuesandthefactthattheyare not within thebody`simmunesystem,itmay be hardto controlthem (Raju &amp Nageshwara, 2005). Therefore,theymay tendto increasein populationsince theyare not controlledresultinginto othermutant formsthathumanimmunesystemmay not be ableto suppress.Furthermore,thesepopulationsmay infectotherorganismsthatrummagein wasteortheymight leadto environmental contaminationincludingfoodandwatersources.Hence,thismay increasetheriskof infectionto humanbeingsas a resultoffoodandwatercontaminationresultingtothe deteriorationof their healthdueto infectionof contagiousdiseases(Bisen &amp Raghuvanshi, 2013).

Adverseeffectson humanhealthandenvironmental risksposedby bio-medical wastecan beminimizedthrough properwastemanagementandplanning.Recentstudiesindicatethat not allthebio-medical wastesdiscardedfrom healthcarefacilitiescontaintoxicmaterials(InternationalConference on Water and Environment, 2003). Therefore,ifrigorouswastemanagementprogramscan beimplementedin hospitals,therisksof bio-medical wasteto animals,environmentandhumanbeingsmay be significantly reduced.Correspondingly,betterwastemanagementmethodsmay resulttothe overalldecreaseof medicalexpenditureincurredinthe treatmentof infectiousdiseases.Also,comprehensivewastemanagementmethodsmay resultto reductionof overall wastegenerationhenceminimizingtherisksexposedto humanbeingsandanimals.Thus,thereis a needforinstitutionsprovidinghealthcareto educateworkerson propermethodsof bio-medical wastemanagementandplanningthrough training.Adequatetrainingof hospitalworkersat alllevels andsustainedmotivationmay helpin minimizingtherisksassociatedwith bio-medical waste(Yadav,2001).

Managementof MedicalWastein theUS

LawsGoverning Bio-Medical Waste

Someof themajorlawsthat governbio-medical wastein theUnited States includetheBureau of Community Environmental Health Chapter 64E-16 foundAdministrative Code. (Abee etal,2012). Thisrulestipulatesminimumsanitarypracticesthat are concernedwith bio-medical wastemanagementincludinghandling,storage,segregation,transport,treatmentandlabeling. Further,thisruleis applicableto allfacilitiesinvolvedin storage,generation,treatmentortransportationof bio-medical wastein orderto ensureproperhandlingfortheinterestof publichealth.Also,thisrulestipulatesminimumstandardsthat permitstoragefacilities,registrationof bio-medical wastetransporters, generatorsof bio-medical wasteandtreatmentfacilities(Ashton,2013). However,thischapterdoesnot includeandis not applicableto bio-medical wasteincinerators, linenintendedto be re-used orlaundered,orto deadhumanbodiesdisposedof by a licensedpersonas per theprovisionsof Chapter 470.11, F.S. Further, itprovidesthat,specimenscollectedfortestingin thelaboratoryormeantto be usedin medicalresearchorforteachingpurposesshould not be regardedas bio-medical wasteup to thetimethematerialisdiscarded.(Abeeetal,2012).

Additionally,thelawmandates theDepartment of Health to regulatethestorage,packing,treatmentandtransportationof bio-medical waste.Bio-medical wastedisposalandincineration areregulatedby theDepartment of Health Protection as per theprovisionsof thelaw.(Abeeetal,2012).Furthermore, thelawstipulatesthatheath careproviders should be responsibleforeducatingtheir clientsbothin writingandverballyof properwaysforhandlingwastematerialsgeneratedoutside thehospitalsetting.Thelawalsoprovidesthatmaterialsto be usedby healthcareproviders whileprovidingin-home healthcareserviceshas to be removedfrom theuser’s premisesby an authorizedbio-medical wastetransporter. Similarly,homeusers are requiredbyChapter 64E-16 of theBureau of Community Environmental Health foundAdministrativeCodeto package andsegregatebio-medical wasteina waythat minimizestheriskof exposureto themembersof thepublic(Abeeetal,2012).TheBureau of Emergency Medical Services is mandated with inspecting,enforcingandpermittingemergencymedicalservicesthat havethepotentialof generating bio-medical waste.Someof regulationsfoundin thissectionof thelawguidingbio-medical wasteincludeLaw Implemented 381.006, Amended 12-14-92, Specific Authority381.006, History- New 6-19-89, as wellas formerly 10D-104.001 . (Abee etal,2012).

Ontheotherhand,Chapter 64E-16.003 prescribesthefacilities,proceduresandpoliciesthat governbio-medical waste.Thechapterstipulatesthatallfacilitieson bio-medical wastemust comply with allregulationsthat havebeenputintoplaceto guidetheir disposal(Abee etal,2012). Bio-medical wasteisbelievedto containradioactivematerialsmust bemanagedas per theguidelines of Chapter 10D-91 of theFlorida Administrative Code. Additionally, thelawprovidesthatthemanagementof bio-medical wasteshould be in linewith Chapter 64E-16 followingthedecayof radioactivecomponentsas per theprovisionsof Chapter 10D-91, F.A.C.

Anothermajorlawgoverningbio-medical wasteis 391-3-4 Bio-medical Waste Act. Asper theprovisionsof thislaw,allindividualsregulatedunder Rule .15 andas per theprovisionsof Rule .15 willbe requiredto handlebio-medical wasteas stipulated by O.C. 12-8-20 (Official Code). Further,thepersonwillbe supposedto followtheguidelines forSolid Waste Management as stipulated by Chapter 391-3-4 in accordanceto Bio-medical Waste Amendment (Abee etal,2012). Accordingto thisAct, bio-medical wasteconsist of biologicalwastethat includesallidentifiable humantissuescoupledwith bodypartwith exclusionof teethremovedwhilethepatientis undergoingsurgery,autopsy,obstetrical proceduresandlaboratoryprocedures.Additionally, thelawrecognizescontaminatedcarcassesof animalsandotherwastesthat may beassociatedwith infectedanimalsexposedto transmittable agentsas bio-medical wastethat may causeadversehealthproblemsto humans(Abee etal,2012).

Agenciesandtheir Laws andRules

IntheU.S,allbio-medical wasteis generallyregulatedas medicalwaste.Allstatesaregivenresponsibilityto enactlawsandputregulationsrelatingto bio-medical waste.Thismeansthatregulationvaryfrom stateto state.Thereare numerousbureausthat are involvedintheoverseeingof wastemanagementin theUnited States. At thestatelevel thereare departmentof environmental quality,ruraldevelopment,licensing andregulatoryaffairsandstatepolice.Itis worthnotingthatagenciestasked with thedutyof bio-waste managementvaryfrom stateto state.Nonetheless,thefederalgovernmenthas establishedagenciesthat aregivenauthorityto overseewastemanagementin theUnited States. Someof thekeyagenciesinclude,Drug Enforcement Administration andEnvironmental Protection Agency. In everystate,thereexistcountyhealthdepartmentsthat overseeproperwastemanagementin thecounty(Abeeetal, 2012).

Healthfacilitiesare complexinstitutionswhich are frequentedby individualsfrom everyallwalkof lifewithout anysegregationbased on age,religion,raceandsex.Bothpatientsandmedicalpersonnelgeneratedifferenttypesof bio-medical wastethatposes a threattothepublicwellbeingand wildlife. In additionto theriskforpersonnelwhohandlethebio-medical wasteandpatients.Therulesformulatedin 1998 and2000 by theMinistry of Environment, stipulate thatallindividualswhoare in chargeof a medicalinstitutionshould takeall therequisitestepsandproceduresto ensurethatall thebio-medical wastegeneratedis handledappropriatelywithout anyundesirableimpactonthe environmentandhumanhealth(Abeeetal, 2012).In thisrespecthospital,dispensaries, nursinghomes,pathologicallaboratoriesandanimalhousesare,therefore, requiredto putin placean efficientbiologicalwastetreatmentfacility.

Whyis Bio-medical wastea significantissueforNurses?

Bio-medicalwasteis a significanttopicfornursesbecausetheexistingwastemanagementpracticesin mosthospitalsaround theworldare unsatisfactory.Absenceof segregationpracticesleadsto mixing of bio- medicalwith thegeneralwastemakingtheentirewasteflowunsafe.Impropersegregationin theduecourseresultstoincorrectmethodof wastedisposal(Yadav,2001). In recenttimesbio-medical wastemanagementhas surfaced as an importantissueof graveconcernnot onlyto nursingfacilitiesandhospitalsbut alsoto thewildlife andenvironment.Bio-medical wasteproducedfrom medicalrelatedfacilitiesdepend on numerouselementssuchtypeofhealthcarefacilities,specialization of medicalunits,resourcesandinfrastructureavailable,managementmethods,proportionof reusable itemsandoccupancyof medicalunits.Nursesare in directcontactwith groupsof people who are involvedin thegeneration,collectionanddisposalof bio-medical wastes.Assuch,itis of principalsignificancethateverypersonin thefieldof nursingis wellversed with thecurrentwastemanagementmethodsandcollectiontechniquessothattheycan be ableto workeffectivelyin a healthcare setting(Basavanthappa,2008). Asstated,poormanagementof bio-medical wastecan resultto disastrouseffectsto themedicalpractitioner, thepatientsandvisitorsin thehealthcare units.Propermanagementof bio-medical wastehas becomea global humanitariansubject.Thefarreaching impactsof inappropriately managedbio-medical wastet humanbeingsandenvironmentis a concernthat directlyaffectsthenurses.Nursesare thecaregiversin manyhealthcare facilities,andtheir contributionto maintaincareforallpeoplewithin thecommunityissignificantly compoundedifwasteisnot managedproperly.

Theconundrumof wastehandledin healthcare facilitieshas necessitatedthehuntfornewwaysof managingbiomedical wastethatare not onlysafe,butalsocosteffective.Itthereforebecomesimportantthatallpersonnelwithin thehealthcare establishmentare wellinformedof therecentadvancesin thisplaying turf(Yadav,2001).

EthicalIssues

Theethicalaspectemanatingfrom theissuesof bio-medical managementrelatesto thefactthatas healthcare professionalsnursesare supposedto be sociallyresponsiblewithin thehealthcare unit,andbecauseof their knowledge,statusandskillsandresponsibilityto alertotherindividualswhoare at riskof exposure(Basavanthappa,2004). Therulesdictatethatnursesmust notifyauthoritiesof infectiousdiseasesas a measureof publicwelfare.In thisveinnursesare sociallyresponsibleforthehealthcare of allpeoplewithin thehospitalsettingasregardsbio-medical waste.Nurseshould actin sucha mannerthattheywillpreventexposureof allpeoplewithin thehospitalsettingto bio-medical waste.Patientsandothersupportstaffmay not be wellversed with thedisastrouseffectsof exposureto bio-medical wasteandtheimportanceof properwastemanagement.Assucha nurseshould makesurethatthesegroupsof individualsare not exposedto bio-medical wasteby initiatingpropercollectionproceduresandpropermanagementanddisposaltechniques(Weber,2000).

Conclusion

Bio-medicalwasterefersto liquidorsolidwasteincludingcontainerandanyotherintermediateproductthat areproducedduring diagnosis,treatmentandimmunization of peopleandanimals,orthosegeneratedin researchrelatingto medicalprocessesandin testingandproductionof medicaldrugs.WorldHealth Organization indicatesthat85 percent of wastegeneratedfrom healthandmedicalfacilitiesandprocessesare non-hazardous. Out of theremaining15% which is are referredto as hazardouswastes,5% is non-infectious while10% is infectious.Bio-medical wasteiscommonlydividedonto four maincategories,radioactive,infectious,andgeneralwaste.

Eventhoughmedicalcareis essentialforour wellbeing theenormousamountof wastegeneratedfrom medicalactivitiescan be hazardous,lethalandnoxiousbecauseof their highlatentof infectiontransmission.Ifthesewasteswerenot handledcorrectlyandtreatedappropriatelytheyposea greatriskto humanandanimalhealth.Ifnot disposedof properlybio-medical wastecan be a propagation groundforpathogens andotherdiseasecausingvectors that can invariablyharmthehealthof peoplewhomay be livingin suchan area.Inappropriatemanagementof bio-medical wastesproducedin healthfacilitiescausesa directhealtheffecton thecommunity,thewell-beingof healthcare workersandtheenvironment.Eachdaya largeamountof toxicbio-medical wastesare producedin medicalfacilitiesaround theglobe.Bio-medical wastes are generally managed through a common treatmentfacility, commonly referred to as bio-medical waste treatmentfacility (CBWTF). Wastes originating from different healthcaresfacilities are treated to reduce the undesirable impacts of the wasteon human and environment. Once the waste goes through the treatmentprocess it is recycled or thrown in a landfill.

Allpeoplewhoare in directcontactinfectiousandhazardousbiomedical wasteare potentiallyexposedto a rangeof healthrisksespeciallyin healthfacilitieswherebio-medical wastemanagementis inadequate.There are numerousgroupsof personswhoare at riskof exposureto bio-medical waste.In thehospital,there are nurses,pharmacists,doctorsandlaboratorytechnicians,supportstaffsuchas techniciansandlaundrystaff,technicalpersonnelsuchas wastemanagers,cleaners,carriersandmaintenancepersonnel.Patientsandotherhealth workers arealsoat riskof gettingexposedto hazardousbio-medical wasteion thehospitalsetting.Outside thehospitalpremise,individualsemployedto transportanddisposeof bio-medicalwasteare at riskof exposure,togetherwith youngchildrenwhosalvageobjectsfoundin opendumpsites near a hospital.Theconundrumof wastehandledin healthcare facilitieshas necessitatedthehuntfornewwaysof managingbiomedical wastethatare not onlysafe,butalsocosteffective.Itthereforebecomesimportantthatallpersonnelwithin thehealthcare establishmentare wellinformedof therecentadvancesin thisplaying turf.Nursesare in directcontactwith differentgroups of people whoare involvedinone way or another in generation,collectionanddisposalof bio-medical wastes.Assuch,itis of principalsignificancethateverypersonin thefieldof nursingis wellversed with thecurrentwastemanagementmethodsandcollectiontechniquessothattheycan be ableto workeffectivelyin a healthcare setting.

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