Published Date : Jun 14, 2016
The issue of medical waste management has come to become one of the most pressing issues for the world as the healthcare industry flourishes and services at an immense pace to tackle the unending numbers and varieties of ailments affecting the mounting global population. Similar to municipal or e-waste management, the management of medical waste is a highly daunting task owing to the complex nature of the waste and the presence of many harmful elements. What makes the process of medical waste management even more tasking is the presence of several contagious fluids that need proper medical know-how and extreme precaution to be handled and dispose of.
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tags all types of waste products generated from healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, dental clinics, veterinary clinics, and medical and biomedical research laboratories as medical waste. To manage all these kinds of waste products, various regional markets have institutionalized stringent safety and disposal regulations that rule all major steps of the process of waste processing and disposing.
In the U.S., where medical waste is the third-largest source of waste products, with hospitals generating more than 2 mn tons of a variety of waste materials every year, the management of medical waste comprises a major market. Several government and non-government organizations in the country are actively involved in finding and executing effective measures for the proper management of medical waste.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the foremost government organization that regulates the overall process of medical waste in the country. Some of the few core measures undertaken to manage medical waste effectively in the country include technically sound segregation process and properly monitored transportation of waste from the source to disposal facilities. A number of plans and policies have also been established to monitor the type and volumes of medical waste generated from major sources. With the help of through analysis of this data, active measures have been taken to reduce the amount of waste generated at specific steps with a view of bringing down the final output of medical waste.