The draft Bio-medical Waste Rules were published in June, 2015 inviting suggestions from Public. The suggestions / objections received were then examined by the Working Group of Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and based on the recommendations of the Working Group, the Ministry has published the Bio- medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
(Note: In light of the above notified rules, students should have an understanding of the important aspects of these rules both for UPSC preliminary and Main Examination)
What is Bio-medical waste?
- Biomedical waste comprises human & animal anatomical waste, treatment apparatus like needles, syringes and other materials used in health care facilities in the process of treatment and research.
- This waste is generated during diagnosis, treatment or immunisation in hospitals, nursing homes, pathological laboratories, blood bank, etc.
Importance of Biomedical waste disposal:
- Scientific disposal of biomedical waste through segregation, collection and treatment in an environmentally sound manner minimises the adverse impact on health workers and on the environment.
- The quantum of waste generated in India is estimated to be 1-2 kg per bed per day in a hospital.
- 85% of the hospital waste is non-hazardous, 15% is infectious/hazardous.
- Mixing of hazardous results in to contamination and makes the entire waste hazardous.
- There is necessity to segregate and treat because
- Improper disposal increases risk of infection.
- Encourages recycling of prohibited disposables and disposed drugs and
- Develops resistant microorganisms
What are the salient features of BMW Management Rules, 2016?
- Bio-medical waste has been classified in to 4 categories instead 10 to improve the segregation of waste at source.
- Phase-out the use of chlorinated plastic bags, gloves and blood bags within two years.
- The ambit of the rules has been expanded to include vaccination camps, blood donation camps, surgical camps or any other healthcare activity.
- Pre-treatment of the laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples and blood bags through disinfection or sterilisation on-site in the manner as prescribed by WHO or NACO.
- State Government to provide land for setting up common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility.
- No occupier shall establish on-site treatment and disposal facility, if a service of `common bio-medical waste treatment facility is available at a distance of seventy-five kilometer.
- The new rules prescribe more stringent standards for incinerator to reduce the emission of pollutants in environment;
- Inclusion of emissions limits for Dioxin and furans;
(Note: Students should read about dioxin and furans and must have basic idea from UPSC preliminary exam point of view)
- Establish a Bar-Code System for bags or containers containing bio-medical waste for disposal.
- Provide training to all its health care workers and immunise all health workers regularly.
Will this make a big difference to Clean India Mission?
Yes, the newly framed bio-medical waste management rules is expected to change the way India used to manage this waste earlier- How?
- Under the new regime, the coverage has increased and also provides for pre-treatment of lab waste, blood samples, etc.
- It mandates bar code system for proper control.and it has simplified categorisation and authorisation.
- Most importantly it has time target of two years to phase-out the use of chlorinated plastic bags, gloves and blood bags.