Do you want to get familiar with the term medical waste disposal? Are you looking for biomedical examples or their types? 

If yes, you’re in the right place. 

The lack of proper disposal of waste produced in medical fields is getting serious every day. If this issue is not managed properly, it’ll cause serious health issues among patients, health workers, and the general public. 

If you don’t manage this waste, it will eventually result in air and water pollution, soil contamination, extinction of wildlife, and more. Moreover, if we want to eradicate or minimize this issue, we should be well aware of the term medical waste disposal. Then only we’ll be able to dispose of the waste in the right way!

So, in this article, we’ll try to familiarize you with medical waste disposals, their types, examples, and where does it get disposed of. 

Let’s jump in and explore it all! 

What is Medical Waste? 

In simple words, medical waste is the waste generated by the health sector while doing healthcare activities. The waste can be chemicals, dressings, syringes, radioactive material, devices, etc. 

You can also use alternatives for this term, like clinical waste, healthcare waste, biomedical waste, and more. 

We can find harmful substances and microorganisms in biomedical waste that can harm our health. 

For example, you can suffer from a disease like diarrhoeal due to unclean drinking water, lack of good sanitation, and more. However, water, air, soil, and land pollution is caused due to lack of proper waste disposal. 

If you want to live a healthy life, you should contribute to waste management like medical waste, industry waste, etc. 

Types of Medical Waste Disposal 

According to WHO, around 15% of medical waste produced by health services is hazardous. It can be infectious for us! In order to minimize its infections and be safe from different viruses and bacteria, we must be focused on the proper disposal of biomedical waste. 

Here, we’ve listed down some of the types of medical waste disposal! 

  • Hazardous Biomedical Waste

These kinds of biomedical waste can be really dangerous. Unlike any other biomedical waste, experts suggest we not mix it with other healthcare waste. Its infectious and toxic properties can create adverse effects on our health and environment. 

It includes elements like blood, tissues, bandages, gloves, and needles. Not only that, we can also find human organs and body parts in this biomedical waste that are removed during surgeries and autopsies. 

Here, we’ve listed some examples of Hazardous Biomedical Waste: 

  • Blood-soaked dressings
  • Expired medicines
  • Our tissues and organs
  • Chemicals used in the laboratory
  • Infectious Biomedical Waste

Infectious biomedical waste includes all the waste that can cause infection. Ordinary humans like us cannot handle this waste as it needs the supervision of experts or those who are trained in the right way. 

You can get diseases and infections if you’re in contact with infectious biomedical waste. It includes fetuses removed by health experts during operations. 

Moreover, some of this waste contains blood bags or items that are saturated with blood. 

Infectious Biomedical Waste includes 

  • Syringes and needles that are already used
  • Bandages that are soaked with blood
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks, and gowns used by medical experts.
  • Radioactive Biomedical Waste

In simple terms, radioactive waste is waste that is produced from radiation therapy. It includes hazardous waste that health professionals use for therapeutic or research purposes. 

You might have definitely heard about cancer therapies; during those therapy processes, radioactive biomedical waste is produced. The materials are used to diagnose, for therapy, or do research. A lot of experts use nuclear medicine scans that use radioactive substances. 

The top examples of radioactive biomedical waste are: 

  • Syringes used along with radioactive materials
  • Lab equipment used in the laboratory that includes radioactive materials
  • Sharps

Sharps are those biomedical wastes that have sharp edges. You might have a risk of being injured if you don’t handle it properly. Not only that, if you don’t manage sharps properly, there might be transmission of bloodborne pathogens. 

Some of the types of sharps are needles, syringes, lancets, scalpels, razors, glasses, infusion sets, and more. 

Medical experts usually use sharps to draw blood, vaccinate, and insert IVs into patients. Here, we’ve listed some of the examples of sharps: 

  • Insulins or vaccines
  • Lancets
  • Surgical scalpel blades 
  • Infusion sets
  • General Waste 

General waste is basic waste like household waste. It includes all the general office waste or normal waste. It is non-hazardous and doesn’t need to be disposed of way too carefully. However, it is also harmful to the environment if they are just thrown away. Some of its examples are 

  • Packages of medication
  • Paper products
  • Food waste
  • Unused culture plates.

Where can you Dispose of Biomedical Waste? 

If you want to live in a clean and healthy environment, it is necessary to dispose of the waste properly. However, before disposing of the waste, you must know what kind of waste it is. 

Whenever you’re disposing of biomedical waste, you need to follow the proper prevention. In every country, there are ways to dispose of them. So, on the basis of the country, state, or city you’re living in, you need to look for rules and regulations made by the local health department. 

Some of the common methods to dispose of medical garbage are: 

  • Incineration
  • Autoclaving
  • Landfill disposal
  • Sharps containers.

Likewise, before making any decision about biomedical waste, we suggest you have up-to-date and accurate information.  

Conclusion 

As civilized individuals, we should have basic knowledge about medical disposal, its types, and the right place to dispose of it. When there are healthcare facilities, there’ll be disposals too. So, we must be focused on disposing of the generated waste material in the right way. 

You must be careful with biomedical waste so we can handle it properly to ensure the safety of the environment, patients, healthcare workers, and wildlife. 

We hope this article helped you gain an idea about biomedical waste disposal and everything that surrounds it. 

Wish you all the best in disposing of medical waste in the right way! 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].