Every single medical facility in the world, including certain companies produce hazardous medical waste, making its management a vital issue. On the one hand, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical labs must look out for the safety of patients and staff. On the other hand, we all have a common responsibility to protect the environment from the hazards associated with hospital waste.
One can never underestimate the impact such garbage can have. Anything from a chewing-gum wrapper to radioactive medical waste can cause huge damages the world we live in. Thus, the consequences of not taking hazardous medical waste management are quite severe.
The 5 main consequences of not having an efficient medical hazardous waste disposal solution
1. Your company will fail incoming inspections
Ethical and safety issues aside, if you mishandle hazardous medical waste, you are basically breaking the law. Aside from the hit to your reputation, depending on the severity of your mistakes, authorities may even shut down your operations.
2. You will incur extra expenses
Even if the previously mentioned inspections do not cause your company to be shut down, it is certain that failing to meet environmental regulations will lead to costly fines you will have to pay. The longer you put off hazardous biomedical waste management, the more costs you will encounter in the long term. Especially if mishandling causes on-site injuries to staff or patients, meaning your company will have to pay even higher insurance premiums.
The earlier you look for medical hazardous waste disposal solutions, the sooner you can minimize your company’s costs. If you keep putting it off for later, you will have to spend more on cleaning up the previous failures caused by mismanagement.
3. Your company won’t function as efficiently
If the issue of biomedical hazardous waste disposal isn’t handled in time, you will just end up putting a huge amount of unnecessary pressure on those who will end up being responsible for it. Your workforce will be scrambling to find solutions as soon as possible and will almost certainly be overwhelmed by the workload.
If you prepare yourself in time, you will be able to handle these issues as well-structured problems, allowing you to be proactive, instead of just reactive.
4. You will expose your employees to the health hazards of biomedical waste
Any and all companies have an obligation to guarantee a safe working environment for their employees. Biomedical hazards can come from spills, explosions, as well as corrosive, flammable, and toxic medical waste. These aren’t just threats to your workforce: they present a danger that could affect an even greater number of people in your area. Unfortunately, injuries are the best-case scenario here, as some of these medical hazards can even lead to death if left unchecked.
This is why hazardous medical waste treatment needs to be dealt with the most reliable equipment you can get your hands on.
5. Last but not least: hazardous pharmaceutical waste damages the environment
This should come as no surprise: humans aren’t the only ones at risk. Pollution and contamination coming from infectious medical waste are very harmful to the ecosystem we live in, unless they are handled with a professional medical waste shredder.
So, what does hazardous medical waste include?
Of course, in order to efficiently handle hazardous medical waste management, you also need to know what it is you’re actually managing. According to the medical definition of chemical waste, chemicals are basically substances that cannot be broken down into further parts without changing them into something different through a reaction. Chemicals are pure substances, including, gas, as well as solid and liquid medical waste.
What you need to know, is that while chemicals aren’t necessarily considered hazardous, any garbage that has the potential to harm its surroundings (including the people who live in those surroundings) has to be handled as hazardous pharmaceutical waste. Thus, most of the time, you still need to treat chemicals as such, but this even applies to household garbage, like batteries and cleaning solutions.
As you might have guessed, this definition encompasses a huge array of waste. About 15% of disposed waste can be considered as hazardous. As such, hazardous medical waste includes toxic, flammable, corrosive, infectious, pathological, medical sharps, and even radioactive waste in hospitals (the latter which can originate from radiotherapy and other treatments).
How the hazards of biomedical waste affect the environment
Soil, air, as well aquatic and wildlife are all affected by hazardous garbage generated each day by industries. There are short- and long-term consequences to not handling medical hazardous waste disposal efficiently.
The main danger of the former is water pollution. Medical chemical waste can pour into our water supplies, making lakes, rivers, and streams unfit to use as everyday resources, or for agricultural purposes. The contamination cycle continues, as wildlife sickens and die when drinking water affected by hazardous medical waste, not to mention people living downstream of such water.
The long-term consequences of not taking hazardous medical waste management seriously are even more terrifying. These include mutations in animals, cancer and other serious diseases affecting humans, as well as the destruction of our world’s natural resources. Not to mention the extinction of crucial species like bees, who play a key role in preserving our world by fertilizing plant life. Diseases threatening humans will be especially dangerous to children, as their bodies are still more vulnerable and developing. Hazardous medical waste like mercury and lead builds up over time, and can lead seizures, and even death.
So how do I handle medical hazardous waste disposal efficiently?
Your safest bet for hazardous medical waste management is to use a modern medical waste shredder. This basically provides you with a 2 in 1 on-site solution, as machines like ours also work as steam sterilizers. With different options for capacity, it can suit any facility ranging from hospitals to smaller clinics.
Be sure to check out the ISS – Celitron’s solution to efficient, easy, and environmentally friendly medical hazardous waste disposal!