Sources of Biomedical Waste

Hospitals produce waste, which is increasing over the years in its amount and type. The hospital waste, in addition to the risk for patients and personnel who handle them also poses a threat to public health and environment.

  • Major Sources:

    • Govt. hospitals/private hospitals/nursing homes/ dispensaries. • Primary health centers. • Medical colleges and research centers/ paramedic services. • Veterinary colleges and animal research centers. • Blood banks/mortuaries/autopsy centers. • Biotechnology institutions. • Production units.

  • Minor Sources:

    • Physicians/ dentists’ clinics • Animal houses/slaughter houses. • Blood donation camps. • Vaccination centers. • Acupuncturists/psychiatric clinics/cosmetic piercing. • Funeral services. • Institutions for disabled persons

Problems relating to biomedical waste

A major issue related to current Bio-Medical waste management in many hospitals is that the implementation of Bio-Waste regulation is unsatisfactory as some hospitals are disposing of waste in a haphazard, improper and indiscriminate manner. Lack of segregation practices, results in mixing of hospital wastes with general waste making the whole waste stream hazardous. Inappropriate segregation ultimately results in an incorrect method of waste disposal. Inadequate Bio-Medical waste management thus will cause environmental pollution, unpleasant smell, growth and multiplication of vectors like insects, rodents and worms and may lead to the transmission of diseases like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and AIDS through injuries from syringes and needles contaminated with human. Various communicable diseases, which spread through water, sweat, blood, body fluids and contaminated organs, are important to be prevented. The Bio Medical Waste scattered in and around the hospitals invites flies, insects, rodents, cats and dogs that are responsible for the spread of communication disease like plague and rabies. Rag pickers in the hospital, sorting out the garbage are at a risk of getting tetanus and HIV infections. The recycling of disposable syringes, needles, IV sets and other article like glass bottles without proper sterilization are responsible for Hepatitis, HIV, and other viral diseases. It becomes primary responsibility of Health administrators to manage hospital waste in most safe and eco-friendly manner. The problem of bio-medical waste disposal in the hospitals and other healthcare establishments has become an issue of increasing concern, prompting hospital administration to seek new ways of scientific, safe and cost effective management of the waste, and keeping their personnel informed about the advances in this area. The need of proper hospital waste management system is of prime importance and is an essential component of quality assurance in hospitals.

Need of biomedical waste management in hospitals

The reasons due to which there is great need of management of hospitals waste such as:


1. Injuries from sharps leading to infection to all categories of hospital personnel and waste handler.
2. Nosocomial infections in patients from poor infection control practices and poor waste management.
3. Risk of infection outside hospital for waste handlers and scavengers and at time general public living in the vicinity of hospitals.
4. Risk associated with hazardous chemicals, drugs to persons handling wastes at all levels.
5. “Disposable” being repacked and sold by unscrupulous elements without even being washed.
6. Drugs which have been disposed of, being repacked and sold off to unsuspecting buyers.
7. Risk of air, water and soil pollution directly due to waste, or due to defective incineration emissions and