Assessment of Available Technologies for Hospital Waste Management: A Need for Society

Assessment of Available Technologies for Hospital Waste Management: A Need for Society

Alok Rai, Richa Kothari, D. P. Singh
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1683-5.ch010
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Modern hospital practices with galloping growth in medical technology facilitate increase human life span, decrease mortality rate and increase natality rate. Life supporting health services generates potentially hazardous and infectious hospital wastes like pharmaceuticals, cottons, food, paper, plastics, radionuclide, sharps, and anatomical parts etc. These wastes are complex in nature with maximum part of municipal solid waste and small part of biomedical waste (anatomical parts, body parts etc.). Improper conduct and management of hospital waste create several problems and nosocomial diseases to human beings and harms environment. Traditional practices included for management are open burning, mixing waste, liquid discharge and waste disposal without treatment normally. Hence, this issue comes in lime light and several guidelines come to sort out this problem. Thus, challenges associated with traditional hospital waste management techniques and modern techniques for management are assessed in general and association with human society in particular in this chapter.
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With rapid growth of human population and urbanization there is increase in quantity of waste generation. Most developing and develop part of the world is facing challenges of waste. Waste is the substances which have resource but not value. Waste is classified by their source of generation, process by the wastes is produced, and also by its composition. According to literature, there are several attempts to define waste, enlisted in Table 1. Similarly, source of generation, compositional structures, and regulatory framework also supports and defines waste, given in Table 2, in Indian context only.

Table 1.
Definitions of Waste
BASEL Convention“Wastes” are substances or objects which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law.BASEL Convention, 1989
OECDWastes are materials other than radioactive materials intended for disposal, for reasons specified. OECD, 1994
World BankUnwanted materials left over from any human activity. or, Refuse from places of human or animal habitation. Waste may be generically defined as heterogeneous mixture of material which is discarded as superfluous and has no further use or value to its owner.World Bank, 2000
EUAny substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard. European Commission, 2012

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