NIIST develops system for safe medical waste disposal

‘The technology enables the disinfection of waste and solidification instantaneously upon mixing’

August 18, 2021 09:03 pm | Updated 09:04 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has developed a know-how for safely disposing of biomedical waste.

The technology involves a solidifying agent, which reduces the risk of spillage and aerosolization, and a disinfectant which helps to dispose the waste as non-regulated medical waste.

The CSIR facility said that the technology, 'Disinfection-Solidification System for Pathogenic Biomedical Waste Disposal,' has been transferred to M/s Bio Vastum Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (CML Group), Thrissur.

NIIST has come out with the technology at a time when the generation of biomedical wastes has witnessed a sharp increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“'The technology enables the disinfection of both liquid and solid biomedical waste samples, and results in gelation or solidification instantaneously upon mixing. The complete microbial disinfection followed by immobilisation reduces the risk of spillage and occupational exposure. Transportation and disposal of such disinfected pathogenic waste are easier and safer for a healthcare facility,” NIIST said.

Improper treatment of pathogenic biomedical waste can lead to harmful microbes infecting patients, health workers and the general public. Incineration of the wastes, on the other hand, leads to air pollution and is also expensive.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the amount of biomedical waste generated has seen a steep increase globally, NIIST scientists noted.

Citing the 2016 annual report of the Central Pollution Control Board, they pointed out that India produces 517 tonnes of biomedical waste per day. A joint report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and Velocity, pegged the per-day generation in 2018 at 550 tonnes, which was projected to touch 775.5 tonnes per day by 2022.

“Kerala produces, on average, 37 tonnes of biomedical waste per day. An additional 18 tonnes of biomedical waste is produced in the State after the surge of COVID-19,” according to NIIST.

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