HEALTHCARE WASTE TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES AND HEALTH IMPACTS OF WASTE MANAGEMENT
Free (open access)
Volume 11 (2016), Issue 2
182 - 191
Healthcare waste includes all types of waste generated from human and veterinary medical activities (public or private), and encompasses diagnosis, prevention and curative treatments, research, and laboratory activities. The risks associated with healthcare waste and its management have gained attention across the world over last decades, and this has resulted in the increased recognition of the need for proper healthcare waste management. One of the most important factors in any type of waste management is undoubtedly safety and hence the basic safety for waste treatment workers on the site has to be guaranteed first. However, some waste treatment technologies, such as landfills and incinerators, release toxic substances which could cause significant health effects. There are two purposes of this paper: (1) to review the technologies available for the treatment of healthcare wastes (HCW) by indicating the major merits and drawbacks of them, and (2) to highlight adverse health implications of these technologies reported in the epidemiology to provide data and information regarding excess health risk of these technologies for further studies. If there are not a significant number of health effect investigations specifically related to HCW treatment and disposal, municipal waste will be used as a surrogate for healthcare waste.
health effect, healthcare waste, incinerator, landfills, safety, toxic substances