Discuss the challenges associated with rapidly increasing Biomedical waste in India. Also state the key features of the Bio-medical waste management rules 2018.

Biomedical waste is defined as human and animal anatomical waste, treatment apparatus like needles, syringes, and other materials used in health care facilities in the process of treatment and research. During the covid pandemic, the generation of biomedical waste increased manifold more than its usual rate of disposal.

Challenges associated with Biomedical waste:

  • Challenges to health – If disposed of improperly on inadequately, such waste can cause severe infections and ailments.
  • Superbugs – Inappropriate disposal can lead to an increase in the chances of the evolution of anti-microbial resistant bugs.
  • Soil and Environmental Health – It can cause toxicity to soil and water.
  • Economic and Social – The disposal cost is far less than the cost that might arise due to the reckless disposal of such waste.
  • Infections arising out of improper disposal can cause a threat of zoonotic diseases.

Biomedical waste management rules 2018:

  • Segregation of waste into 4 categories viz human anatomical waste, animal waste, etc.
  • Waste segregation at source and barcoding of waste at generation point.
  • Training of human resources and separate staff to handle such waste.
  • Specific biomedical waste disposal sites.
  • Immunization and vaccination of the staff involved.
  • No biomedical waste shall be mixed with the waste of any other kind.

Even though the rules are put in place, they must be necessarily put to implementation at ground level. However, still, mass awareness and household biomedical waste should also be given simultaneous consideration.


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