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Biomedical waste treatment plants across Maharashtra pose health risk as hospitals do not scientifically segregate the waste

Mar 29,2024

Mumbai: Incinerators and treatment units at Maharashtra’s around thirty common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (CBWTF) spread across the state are contributing to the pollution, due to carelessness on the part of hospitals in segregating medical waste eventually harming the environment and the health of the people living around them, a latest audit has revealed.

The latest Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) survey, with the help of IIT Mumbai, has found that several health care facilities (HCF) or hospitals are not following proper bio-waste segregation rules while collecting Biomedical waste a result of their treatment and incineration eventually pose serious health risks to citizens.

“There is a specific method for each category of biowaste for its disposal or incineration at the CBWTFs. In the absence of segregation, the treatment process for disposal goes wrong eventually leading to polluted air or landfill. The board has therefore issued a warning saying that regular inspections will follow and bank guarantees will be forefitted as a penalty if any health facilities are found breaching segregation rules,” said MPCB sources.

The survey was conducted at common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (CBWTF) such as Deonar, Taloja, Nashik, Chandrapur, Pimpri Chinchwad, Talegaon, Satara, Baramati, Pune, Solapur, Kudal, Lote, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ichalkaranji, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Palghar, Kalyan, Jalna, Latur and Sambhaji Nagar.

In the audit by the IIT Mumbai, the CBWTF authorities cited the fact that HCFs such as Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and Clinics, were not adhering to the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules of 2016. A major concern highlighted by the audit is the acceptance of non-segregated biomedical waste by CBWTFs, which poses serious risks to public health and environmental safety, an MPCB release stated.

“It is mandatory for HCFs to register with an MPCB’s authorized CBWTF operating in the vicinity. Also, it is mandatory to segregate the Biomedical waste at source as per the category mentioned in schedule I of Bio medical waste management rules 2016. HCFs shall hand over the segregated waste through barcoding bags for efficient tracking and management. The MPCB has given strict instructions to all HCFs to follow the rule as per the guidelines from 1st April 2024. Non-compliance with the prescribed rules and guidelines will result in immediate legal action against the HCFs. This collective effort is crucial to safeguarding public health and preserving our environment for future generations,” the MPCB letter to HCFs stated.

Source: Healthworld

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