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Pharmaceutical Waste in Health Care

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Health-care activities protect and restore health and save lives. But what about the waste and by-products they generate? Of the total amount of waste generated by health-care activities, about 85% is general, non-hazardous waste comparable to domestic waste

The remaining 15% is considered hazardous material that may be infectious, chemical or radioactive.

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But with the researches being conducted, a very few knowledge with regards to medical wastes are observed to the people itself. Further, proper segregation was not observed to most of the hospitals giving a direct conclusion that the sanitation workers do not have a wide understanding and public knowledge on how to handle it. At the end, Madhukumar and Ramesh implies that trainings and seminars must be given to the workers. Thus, it briefly shows how the inadequacy of knowledge may also lead to diseases that which may lead to uncontrolled and cannot be solved epidemics of disease. Various ways on how to clean such wastes are being explained. Thus, a common result have explained that most of the countries still cannot properly manage to handle as such wastes. Despite the fact that technologies are present as of the moment, it cannot assure and guarantee a complete and accurate process of disposing wastes properly. The value of properly handling of such wastes constitutes to health care protection among people. According to National Academy of Sciences, hiring someone who is knowledgeable and capable enough of handling medical wastes must be the standard when it comes to choosing workers. Furthermore, understanding the techniques of handling wastes properly will lead to good facility working. Further, different lawsuits have been created to protect the health of everyone, such law created contain objectives of promoting awareness to such wastes. Moreover, the implementation of laws that lets people become knowledgeable of the risks benefited most of the people for it contributed to new array of learning to everyone. Laws such as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 of the Philippines and Foreign laws like Pharmaceutical Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 was made into action

Lastly, the regulations being implemented helped not just to promote awareness but also to help people attain security among humanity. All in all, medical waste play a huge impact on the society. In addition, the past studies suggests that training and seminars must work out among the sanitation workers.

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Nevertheless, if well used, all furnaces can eradicate infectious agents in refuse while transforming the unwanted materials into ruins. Conversely, some forms of unwanted hospital materials such as compounds and pharmaceutical refuse call for extreme heating to treat (Akum2014). Chemical disinfection is used to kill microorganisms that exist in medical equipment and on floor surfaces. This method has since been adopted in the treatment of health care waste. Chemicals are put into the waste to kill or render pathogens inactive (Sharma et al. 2013). Chemical disinfection is distinct from sterilization. It is used to treat liquid waste, including stools, blood, and urine, and hospital sewage. This method is sometimes used to treat solid waste, including microbial cultures, and sharps. When using chemical disinfection, it is important to take into account that some microorganisms are resistant to disinfectants. Such resistant parasites include certain strains of viruses and mycobacteria (Sharma et al. 2013). The survival of indicator microorganisms after disinfection is used to rate the effectiveness of that disinfection method. According to Wood et al. (2014), chemical disinfection is rarely used in developed countries, although it is a common form of waste treatment for healthcare facilities in developing countries

In hospitals that lack the capacity to treat the medical waste, landfill method may be used. It is a generally accepted technique of waste disposal (Liu, Wu & Li 2013). Those who favor the landfill method argue that is safer compared to allowing waste to accumulate at the healthcare facility.

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On the whole, minute concentrations of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, some of which are pharmaceuticals, are having detrimental effects on aquatic species and possibly on human health and development. The consistent increase in the use of potent pharmaceuticals, driven by both drug development and our aging population, is creating a corresponding increase in the amount of pharmaceutical waste generated.

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Akum, F 2014, ‘An assessment of medical waste management in Bawku Presbyterian Hospital of the upper east region of Ghana’, Merit Research Journal of Environmental Science and Toxicology, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 27-38.

Ali, M, Wang, W & Chaudhry, N 2015, ‘Management of wastes from hospitals: A case study in Pakistan’, Waste Management & Research, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 87-90.

Sharma, P, Kumar, M, Mathur, N, Singh, A, Bhatnagar, P & Sogani, M 2013, ‘Health care industries: Potential generators of genotoxic waste’, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 5160-5167.

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