Health sounds alarm over hazardous wastes

Published by rudy Date posted on December 5, 2011

HEALTH Secretary Enrique T. Ona on Sunday directed Center for Health Development – Metro Manila Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo to closely monitor the waste treatment and management of various hospitals in Metro Manila.

Ona issued the order after authorities intercepted illegally transported hazardous medical waste in Capas, Tarlac. The Tarlac Provincial Police said the medical waste came from some Metro Manila hospitals and was transported by dump trucks of Chevalier Enviro Services from Parañaque.

The trucks were found to contain hospital waste, human blood, and various bloody hospital instruments. It was supposed to be brought to the Metro Clark Landfill located in Barangay Kalangitan, Capas, Tarlac.

Ona pointed out that hospitals and public health care units are supposed to safeguard the health of the community and should dispose of their health waste responsibly.

Janairo assured the public that government hospitals in Metro Manila, including DoH-retained hospitals and district hospitals, have the capability and resources to properly dispose of their own waste products according to the rules and regulations under the joint DENR-DoH Administrative Order 02, series of 2005, He said the intercepted hospital waste may have come from various clinics and hospitals that do not have the facility to dispose of them properly.

Janairo said the World Health Organization categorizes hospital wastes according to their weight, density, and constituents. Medical wastes are categorized into: infectious material-containing pathogens in sufficient concentrations or quantities that, if exposed, can cause diseases, this includes waste from surgery and autopsies on patients with infectious diseases; sharps, such as disposable needles, syringes, saws, blades, broken glasses, nails or any other item that could cause a cut;

Pathological, like tissues, organs, body parts, human flesh, fetuses, blood and body fluids; pharmaceuticals, like drugs and chemicals that are returned from wards, spilled, outdated, contaminated, and or are no longer required; and radioactive, or solids, liquids and gaseous waste contaminated with radioactive substances used in diagnosis and treatment of diseases like toxic goiter. –Macon Ramos-Araneta, Manila Standard Today

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