What is Bio-Medical Waste?
The term “Bio- medical waste” covers all wastes
produced in health-care or diagnostic activities.
The Bio-Medical Waste means any solid, fluid or
liquid waste including the containers and any
intermediate product, which is generated during
the diagnosis treatment or immunisation of human
beings or animal.
Quantity Of Waste Generated At Various Places In India
Risks associated with hazardous medical
Health-care wastes are a source of potentially dangerous
micro-organisms that can infect hospital patients, personnel
and the general public. There are many different exposure
routes: through injury (cut, prick), through contact with the
skin or mucous membranes, through inhalation or through
The health risks associated with hazardous medical waste
can be divided into five categories:
risk of trauma. (waste category 1)
risk of infection. (waste categories 1 and 2)
chemical risk. (waste categories 3 and 4)
risk of fire or explosion. (waste categories 3 & 4)
risk of radioactivity.
Cat- 1 Human Anatomical Wastes
Cat- 2 Animal Anatomical Wastes
Cat- 3 Microbiology and Biotechnology wastes
Cat- 4 Waste Sharps
Cat- 5 Discarded medicines and Cytotoxic drugs
Cat- 6 Soiled wastes include items contaminated with
blood, body fluids such as cotton, dressings,
linen, beddings etc.
Cat- 7 Solid wastes i.e. waste generated from disposable
items other than sharps such as tubing, catheters,
Cat- 8 Liquid wastes ( washing, cleaning )
Cat- 9 Incineration ash
Cat- 10 Chemical wastes ( disinfectants, insecticides )
Sorting principles of waste
Do not correct mistakes: if non-hazardous
material has been placed in a container for wastes
entailing the risk of contamination, that waste
must now be considered hazardous
Sorting of the waste must be done as close as
possible to the site where the wastes are produced
Container equipped with a Plastic bag stand on castors Sharps container
black plastic bag (household
HANDLING A BAG OF WASTES
Bags and containers must be closed
whenever they are two-thirds full.
Never pile bags or empty them.
grasp them from the top (never hold
them against the body) and wear
WASTE MINIMIZATION PROCESS:-
1. CHEMICAL DISINFECTION:-
2. THERMAL TECHNOLOGY :-
It uses heat to decontaminate instruments and equipment
and the temperatures in this process may rise to extremely
Most of the microbes are destroyed at temperatures below
low temperatures (100° to
high temperatures (200° to over
Here vacuum pumps are utilized to
evacuate the air in the chamber of
autoclave and steam under pressure is
pushed in, which is able to penetrate the
waste material more thoroughly.
This technology thus reduces the cycle
time to 30 - 60 minutes and the
temperatures attained are 132°C.
where air is pushed out of the
autoclave by steam under pressure.
This system operates at temperatures of
121°C and has a cycle time of
approximately 60 - 90 minutes.
The principle of De Montfort
Incineration is a high heat system
process of burning combustible solids
at very high temperature in a furnace.
-It employs combustion of waste
material in stages, followed by
cleaning of the flue gas through a
number of pollution control devices.
The end product is devoid of infectious
organisms and organic compounds of
waste, which is aesthetically
Based on the type of fuel consumed
the division could be-
● Conventional incinerator using
● Electrical incinerator
● Oil fired incinerator using
electricity and diesel oil
3. MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGY
1. Compaction: Compacting is carried out by a hydraulic
ram against a hard surface.
2. Grinding / Shredding: Waste material is broken
down into smaller particles under negative pressure to
avoid any spillage outside the chamber.
3. Pulverization: Waste is mixed with large volume
of water and bleach solution. The waste is torn
to shreds and then fed to an ultra high speed
hammer mill with large spin blades which
pulverize the matter into small, safe particles.
This involves exposing the waste matter to ultraviolet or
ionizing radiation in an enclosed chamber.
Decontamination occurs when nucleic acids
in the living cells are irradiated.
The advantage with this technology is that energy
input is minimal and it is used to treat items,
which cannot be heated.
Source of radiation needs to be properly disposed
off after its decay.
o To prevent transmission of diseases.
o To prevent injuries.
o To prevent general exposure to harmful effects of
o Reducing the amount of waste at source.
o Purchasing policy geared to minimizing risks.
o Product recycling.
FINAL DISPOSAL METHODS
General non hazardous
Liquid wastes Chemical disinfectant F/b neutralization
with reagent, and discharged into the
Incinerated and sent to landfill sites.
Sharps Needles can be cut by needle cutter and
contained in 1% bleach solution, and sent to
landfill for disposal.
Microbiology waste Autoclave/Microwave/Incineration F/b
Infectious solid waste Autoclave/Microwave/Incineration F/b
Radioactive waste The solid wastes are disposed by
concentration and storage.
Pressurised containers Disposed off with general waste in secured