District Survey Reports
About Punjab
Major Environmental Issues in Punjab
Agriculture
Air
Biodiversity
Climate Change
Database on Maps
Demography
Disaster
Energy
Environmental Conventions and Conferences
Environmental Standards
Forest Resource
Graph Gallery
Industries
Land
Policy and Legislations
Searchable Database
Solid Waste
Static database
Water
Water Supply and Sanitation
  • Biomedical waste means any solid or liquid waste, which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities etc. which may present a threat of infection to humans.
  • Non-liquid biomedical waste includes human and animal tissue and body parts, discarded sharps, and medicines, human blood products, laboratory waste that contains disease-causing agents and body fluids, discarded medical accessories like tubes, IV sets, soiled bandages, plastics etc. Liquid waste includes waste generated from laboratory washings and disinfections.
  • The hazards and risks of Bio-Medical waste are not just for the generators and operators but also for the general community. Generally, Bio-Medical waste is broadly classified into infectious waste and non-infectious waste categories.
  • Biomedical waste is broadly classified into following categories:

o    Infectious waste

o    Non-infectious waste.

Categories of Biomedical Waste (Rule 5)

The major driving forces with respect to bio-medical waste generation in the state include, better human and animal health care facilities to cater to increasing population, increase in use of disposables, and limited awareness amongst the paramedics regarding environmentally sound and scientific disposal.As the number of health care establishments, both in public and private sector, and doctors as well as paramedical staff has increased by almost twice since 1980, the doctor to patient ratio has improved in the state. On an average a hospital bed generates 1 kg of waste per day, out of which 10-15 percent is infectious, 5 percent is hazardous and rest is general waste. Animal health care facilities have also increased by 87% from 1970 to 2010. To further promote research and strengthen medical facilities/programmes, the state government has established Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot and Shri Guru Angad Dev University of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at Ludhiana. Thus, as health care facilities have improved the generation of bio-medical waste has also swelled.

As per PPCB,  total biomedical waste generated amounts to 4078.25  MT  during 2012-13.  (however, this does not include biomedical waste generated from small clinics, dispensaries, etc. which do not require authorization from PPCB). Bio-medical waste is required to be properly segregated at source. As per Rules four recommended colour coded (Yellow, Red, Blue/White translucent and Black) containers are required to be used for segregation and collection of such wastes in the hospitals.

Impacts

Spread of infectious diseases: Medical waste mismanagement is not only linked with the spread of infectious agents like, Human Immuno deficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), but also with indirect problems like endocrine disruption, cancers, reproductive disorders, immune suppression, nervous disorders, etc. Equipments and chemicals used in hospitals, like mercury-containing instruments, radioactive isotopes, glutaraldehyde, cytotoxic drugs, etc. pose a big threat if they are not disposed off properly. The most dangerous of all is the sharps waste, which is capable of transmitting infections. It is commonly known that a number of waste products are reused either by drug addicts or picked by rag pickers. This could pose a serious health hazard. However, no specific data is available.

Release of toxic gases during incineration: Incineration is a common method of disposal of infectious wastes and body parts. However, high temperature burning can cause air pollution by release of dioxins and furan (especially while incinerating plastics used in medical equipments). Hence, several developed countries are switching over to alternate technologies. In Punjab, presently double chamber incinerators are used by all the four CBWTF’s. These facilities are regularly visited by the officers of the Board and by a committee constituted by the Advisory Committee established by the government under the provisions of BMW Rules.

BMW Generated and Treated in Punjab


Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2014

Management of BMW

The Punjab Pollution Control Board is responsible for implementation of Bio-Medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 in the state. PPCB and Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) are monitoring its collection, management and treatment. 4905 hospitals / HCFs generating Bio Medical Waste have been identified with a total waste generation 12.8 TPD (PPCB, 2015).

In the state, there are four Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTF) have been established which collect, transport and suitably treat waste as per Rules and are monitored regularly by PPCB. However, 2 more CBWTFs are proposed in the State The established CBWTF’s are as under:

  • M/s. SembRamky Environmental Management Pvt. Ltd., Ludhiana
  • Rainbow Environments (A unit of Raidal Buildcon (I) Ltd., Mohali)
  • Amritsar Health Care System, Amritsar
  • M/s. Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Plant Pvt. Ltd., Pathankot
The segregated waste is collected from the  HCEs and is brought to these CBWTF for treatment and disposal. These agencies disinfect the syringes, needles and other plastic materials in Autoclaves and then subject the same to shredding to eliminate the possibility of reuse. The shredded material is then processed to make some other items for non-health use.

The Online Consent Management & Monitoring System (OCMMS) for applying online authorization by HCFs to PPCB have been introduced. The bar code based software system for collection of bio-medical waste from healthcare facilities has been introduced and real time data can be monitored through online system. Each vehicle of the 4 facilities to carry Bio-Medical Waste are equipped with GPS system to track their movement. Regular training programmes are being organized for HCFs for management and handling of Bio-Medical Waste.

 Status Report on Biomedical Waste Management in Punjab