Biomedical waste management

Biomedical waste dustbin
Biomedical waste dustbin with symbol

Biomedical waste management & Handling Rules 1998:

Waste generated from hospitals, medical & health instructions, R & D organization, laboratories, and slaughterhouses, etc. where the biological organism is involved has become an important source of environmental and public health problems. Generally, these wastes are being disposed of in the Municipal dumps.

The public has become aware of this problem and the issue was discussed in various forums. The major concern is proper disinfection, treatment and disposal of biomedical wastes.

To evolve a proper system for regulation of treatment and disposal of biomedical wastes and in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 6, 8 & 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India framed these rules and made effective from 27-7-1998. They were amended in 2000 & 2003.

There are 14 Rules with 6 Schedules and 5 Forms These Rules provide Duty of Occupier, Treatment & Disposal, Segregation, Packing, Transportation & Storage, Prescribed Authority, Authorisation, Advisory Committee, Monitoring in Armed forces medical center by CPCB, Annual Report, Maintenance of Records Accident Reporting, Appeal and common disposal incineration sites.

Out of 19 definitions, some are as under:

“Animal House” means a place where the animal is reared/kept for experiments or testing purposes.

“Authorisation” means permission granted by the prescribed authority for the generation, collection, reception, storage, transportation, treatment, disposal and/or any other form of handling of biomedical waste in accordance with these rules and any guidelines issued by the Central Government.


What is Biological

Biologicals mean any preparation made from organisms or micro-organisms or products metabolism and biochemical reactions intended for use in the diagnosis, immunization or the treatment of human beings or animals or in research activities pertaining, therefore.

What is Biomedical waste?

Biomedical waste means any waste which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities pertaining thereto or in the production or testing of biologicals. There are ten categories of wastes and are listed in the Schedule-I

What is Biomedical waste treatment facility

Biomedical waste treatment facility means any facility wherein treatment, disposal of biomedical waste or processes incidental to such treatment or disposal is carried out and includes common treatment facilities.

The Schedules are as under:

ICategories of Biomedical waste.
IIColour coding and type of container for disposal of Biomedical wastes.
IIILabel for Biomedical waste containers/bags. (A shown below)
IVLabel for Transport of Biomedical waste containers/bags.
V Standards for Treatment & Disposal of Biomedical wastes like incineration, autoclave, liquid wastes, microwave system, and deep burial.
VISchedule for Waste Treatment facilities like Incineration/Auto Clave/Microwave system.
Biomedical waste symbol
Biomedical Hazard
Cytotoxic Waste symbol
Cytotoxic Waste

The Forms are:

IApplication for Authorisation
IIAnnual Report
IIIAccident Reporting
VApplication for Appeal

Schedule-I: Categories of Biomedical wastes

1.Human Anatomical WasteIncineration@/deep burial*
2.Animal WasteIncineration@/deep burial*
3.Microbiology & Biotechnology WasteLocal autoclaving/microwaving/incinertion@
4.Waste SharpsDisinfection (chemical treatment@@/autoclaving/microwaving & mutilation/shredding*
5.Discarded Medicines and Cytotoxic Drugs (wastes comprising of outdated contaminated and jiscarded medicines)Incineration@/ destruction and drug disposal in secured landfills.
6.Solid WasteIncineration@/ autoclaving/microwaving
7.Solid WasteDisinfection by chemical treatment@@/autoclaving/microwaving and mutilation/ shredding##
8.Liquid WasteDisinfection by chemical treatment@@ and discharge into drains.
9.Incineration AshDisposal in municipal landfill.
10.Chemical WasteChemical treatment@@ & discharge into drains for liquid and secured landfills for solid.
@@ = Chemicals treatment using at least 1% hypochlorite solution or any other equivalent chemical reagent. It must be ensured that chemical treatment ensures disinfection.
## = Mutilation/shredding must be such to prevent unauthorized reuse.
** = Deep burial shall be an option available only in towns with population less than five lakhs and in rural areas.

Treatment and Disposal of Biomedical waste

Treatment and Disposal of Biomedical waste shall be treated and disposed of in accordance with Schedule-I, and in compliance with the standards prescribed in Schedule-V.

Duty of Occupier related to Biomedical waste

It shall be the duty of every occupier of an institution generating Biomedical waste which includes a hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary, veterinary institution, animal house, pathological laboratory, blood bank by whatever name called to take all steps to ensure that such waste is handled without any adverse effect on human health and the environment.

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