Importance of Proper Hospital Waste Disposal

Updated on September 22, 2020
Importance of Proper Hospital Waste Disposal

Proper disposal of any hospital waste is incredibly vital. The World Health Organization classifies blood, bodily fluids, needles, syringes, pharmaceuticals, and other similar waste as dangerous to human and environmental health. Reinforcing proper medical waste disposal methods not only protects staff and patients, but it also prevents the spread of disease to the outside world. It’s essential to take any waste from a hospital setting seriously. Here, we will take a look at some examples of the importance of proper hospital waste disposal.

Ensures Safety To Staff

Medical staff are some of the first people that will encounter waste, and much of this material can be hazardous. This means that it’s necessary to properly contain this hazardous waste for the protection of those who need to handle it. Anyone improperly handling these materials in a hospital risks contracting deadly diseases, including hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, malaria, and Ebola, to name a few.

Protecting the Community From Risks

The improper handling or disposal of waste from hospitals can also put the general public at huge risk, especially those in nearby areas. A facility can’t throw hazardous material like this out with standard waste. Improper disposal could lead to dangerous pathogens spreading into the air, land, and water. Many diseases in the past have spread due to these kinds of mistakes. For this reason, hospitals generally require lab packing services, which provide special drums full of smaller containers that hold hazardous waste.

Ensures Protection of Water Supply

Protecting our water supply is a major factor in the importance of proper hospital waste disposal. When medical waste makes its way into a landfill, it can eventually work its way into the soil and groundwater. This water will eventually make its way into our drinking water. Filtration systems clean water to a certain point, but they often can’t decontaminate it from these kinds of risks.

Provides Protection To the Environment

Improperly disposed of medical waste will eventually reach our oceans. Once it is there, any plants and sea life can absorb it. You might think that, as you move up the food chain, the toxins would dissipate. In fact, many of them continue to grow stronger. If a person were to consume a fish at the top of this chain, they could contract the infection. This exposure can spread dramatically—not only to humans but also to any wildlife and vegetation. Ingestion can lead to birth defects, mutations, cancer, and other sicknesses.