Harmful effects of medical waste


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Toxins in clinic waste are either dumped or swept into the ocean by hurricanes. Affect Marine life and those that eat plants or fish that ingest or absorb such waste. Medical waste, such as drugs or petri dish contamination or toxins, then travels up the food chain in the ocean and can affect everything from Marine corals to whales. In turn, humans who consume contaminated seafood or plants may ingest harmful toxins that affect human growth, development and health.

What’s harmful effects of medical waste?

Closed beach

Beaches are often closed when clinic waste is found floating in water or washed ashore, reducing tourism, entertainment and revenue for coastal cities. One of the most common incidents is the discovery of syringes and needles, which can be contaminated or infected with hepatitis or other blood-borne pathogens and diseases.

Rinse medication and environment

A recent study showed that 80 percent of streams in the United States contain small amounts of human drugs. Sewage and water recovery systems cannot remove these drugs from treated water that is released into lakes, rivers and eventually into the ocean. These contaminated fish and other aquatic animals are already showing the adverse effects of drugs in the water. Even tiny amounts of the drug were found in drinking water.

Another recent study found that human drugs can disrupt the biology and behavior of fish and other aquatic organisms at very low concentrations.

Some drugs apparently accumulate in fish over time: a study published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Science found that male fish with trace amounts of Zoloft in their brains seemed to be less anxious. While this may seem interesting, these fish are also not very effective at avoiding predators. In fact, with the average consumer consuming up to 16 pounds of seafood a year, the long-term effects on humans could be dangerous.

Types of treatment and disposal of medical waste

Once the medical waste Disposal company removes the waste from the facility, each container will be treated and/or disposed of according to the type of medical waste to ensure complete decontamination. Some types of treatment include:

1. Autoclave, a combination of high temperature and pressure to destroy medical waste, is the most commonly used method.

2. Irradiance: Exposure to gamma rays that are deadly to viruses and bacteria.

3. Chemical treatment, also known as biological or enzymatic treatment: chemical disinfectants that render medical waste harmless.

4. Microwave treatment, microwave disinfection only works if there is water in the waste. Because the radiation acts directly on the water, not the solid component of the waste.

Once medical waste is treated properly, it is purified and harmless. Any residue can be shredded, recycled, safely placed in a landfill or all of the above. Doing so while reducing the customer’s impact on the environment is a real win-win.

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