MEDICAL WASTE - A SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM
The medical waste collection market is a lucrative occupation - with turnover estimated only in Poland for the amount of PLN 150 million. However, the future of waste is at least as important. The law in this matter is precise, medical waste must stay in the form in which it was taken away until... Well, that's the problem. Is COMBUSTION a form of safe disposal? Has anybody asked themselves what is happens to ash waste? What filters would have to be used on the chimney of the installation to effectively capture not only volatile dust but extremely dangerous fumes? Companies that win tenders and secure thousands of tons for carrying out these procedures earn a fortune while doing this. Every year in Poland, about 50,000 Tm of medical waste is generated in hospitals, clinics, dentists' offices and beauty salons, such as syringes, gloves, used dressings as well as post-surgery materials such as parts of human bodies, carriers of dangerous bacteria and viruses, and residues from laboratory tests.
ECOLOGICAL REGULATIONS AND PRACTISES OF COMPANIES FROM THE INDUSTRY THAT BYPASS THEM ONLY FOR PROFIT
According to the regulations, this ecological bomb can be disarmed only in one way through utilization in adapted chimneyless and waste-free installations and the waste can be stored in suitable conditions before disposal. In practice, however, it looks different - approx. 25% is not destroyed in accordance with the Act. Regulations are one thing and reality the other, which is demonstrated by the cases of pending proceedings in the Prosecutor's Office against companies in this industry. Shipments with waste go to the ramp and after grinding lay in the plant's hall until it is transported to the landfill. This procedure has been going on for several years. The shredded mass is loaded into containers and usually, in the morning, the trucks leave the plants directly to landfills. Certainly, it is an industry in which one should be responsible because its subject matter concerns directly our safety and health. We are talking about disposing of medical, infectious and dangerous waste.
MEDICAL WASTE AS A SUBSTANCE OF SPECIAL MEANING
Medical waste arises in connection with the provision of health services and the conduct of research and scientific experience in the field of medicine. Unfortunately, illegal business is flourishing. This means that in various places, not only on landfills, we find abandoned bags with waste. In forests, in abandoned warehouses and everywhere where there is general access of people and animals. This creates the danger of spreading bacterial diseases and viruses. The Waste Act, which will come into force in July 2018, imposes on the waste producer the responsibility for the method of utilization and maybe such solidarity will force the owners of waste to take responsibility for the selection of the company and whether the price is decisive for its selection. Medical wastes with codes 18 01 02*, 18 01 03*, 18 01 80* and 18 01 82*, referred to as 'infectious wastes', contain live micro-organisms or their toxins of which it is known or for which there are reliable grounds for accepting that cause infectious diseases in humans or other living organisms.
Medical wastes with codes 18 01 06*, 18 01 08* and 18 01 10*, called 'special wastes' contain chemicals known or reliably believed to cause non-communicable diseases in humans or other living organisms or may be a source of environmental contamination. According to the ordinance of the Minister of Environment of September 27, 2001, body parts and organs as well as containers for blood and preservatives used for its storage, other wastes that contain live pathogenic microorganisms or their toxins and other forms capable of transferring genetic material of which it is known or for which there are reliable grounds for believing that they cause diseases in humans and animals (eg. infected nappies, pads, sleepers), chemicals - including chemical reagents containing dangerous substances, cytotoxic and cytostatic drugs, dental amalgam waste, used biologically active baths with infectious properties and food residues from patients in infectious wards that are left unattended can lead to an epidemic whose source is difficult to detect.
MEDICAL WASTE WITH THE CONTENT OF CHEMICAL WASTE