A press note issued here said the Health team found that in 150 labs and in seven dental clinics there was no proper waste disposal system

District Medical Officer T. Peethambaran has issued temporary closure notices on 18 private laboratories in the district where serious defects relating to safety, quality and hygiene norms were detected during an inspection by a team of Health officials on Saturday.

Notices have been issued to 117 such establishments which were found functioning in a manner conducive to the spread of communicable diseases, which had no proper waste disposal system and where no proper records were being maintained. In all, 154 private laboratories, 23 dental clinics, 20 X-ray units attached to laboratories and eight scanning centres were raided by the Health team on Saturday.

A press note issued here said the Health team found that in 150 labs and in seven dental clinics there was no proper waste disposal system. In 104 labs and seven dental clinics there was no proper method of disposing off bio-medical waste. In 30 laboratories and five dental clinics, it was found that instruments were being used without being sterilised. In one dental clinic, it was found that instruments were being just dipped in hot water instead of being sterilised, the press note said.

In close to 50 labs, the reagents used for tests were found to be past their expiry date and of low quality. The test kits used at these institutions too were found to be of an inferior quality

No licence

It was found that 89 labs, 15 X-ray units and seven scanning centres were functioning without the required licence from the local body concerned. While 13 X-ray units were found functioning without the due recognition from the Department of Radiation Safety, two scanning centres did not have the required licence.

It was found that in many labs, the personnel conducting the tests did not have even basic educational qualifications; many such establishments were found to be illegal. In one such establishment, a Health official found stacks of syringes supplied by the government to be used free of charge for TB patients in government hospitals.

Such raids conducted as part of the ‘Safe Thiruvananthapuram’ programme would continue, the press note said.