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Biomedical waste being dumped along roadside

Staff Reporter
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Action will be taken against hospitals, say officials

Medical waste found dumped on the roadside at Mullamparappu near Erode on Thursday.– PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN
Medical waste found dumped on the roadside at Mullamparappu near Erode on Thursday.– PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN

The absence of effective monitoring by the Health Department is turning the roadsides in the district into dump yard for biomedical waste.

Though the government had established norms for the safe disposal of the biomedical waste, a few hospitals and small clinics continue to discard the waste along with other garbage on the roadsides.

On Thursday, heaps of used syringes, blood-stained cotton bandages, and used IV tubes with the needles, time-barred drugs, and other medical wastes were found dumped on one side of the Arachalur road, near Mullamparappu village.

Rules

According to rules, it is mandatory for hospitals to ensure that biomedical wastes are handled without any adverse effects to human health and the environment.

All the healthcare institutions are expected to have incinerators, autoclaves or microwaves in operation. Otherwise, the institutions can use the services offered by other agencies for the safe disposal of the biomedical waste.

People in the village claimed that it was not the first time the biomedical waste ended up along the roadsides. We continue to witness the dumping of such waste on the roadsides. We had even reported this to the authorities in the health department on a few occasions.

But no action has been initiate so far to address the issue, residents said.

Taking serious note of the incident, health officials here said that action would be initiated against hospitals that dumped the biomedical waste in the open and failed to segregate waste according to the guidelines prescribed by the government. The healthcare institutions should use bags of different colours to segregate the biomedical waste before disposing them safely, the officials said.

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