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Biomedical Waste Definition

Nowadays, the entire humanity is suffering from many problems that are somehow created by us directly or indirectly; one such measure issue is regarding the management of waste that is being generated every single second, and also it is an inevitable task, but the only thing we can do to prevent our environment from being degraded is by properly managing the waste. For this, the government has to take various stringent steps also. It is the need of the hour to take such measures to protect our environment and surrounding from being damaged.

When discussing waste, it should be clear that different types of waste are generated every second: municipal solid, industrial, agricultural, hazardous, and biomedical. These are a few categories of garbage that are continuously exploiting the environment. Moreover, their management methods are also different and expensive, and their treatment plants and recycling plants need a lot of capital investment, human labor, and space. The people living near these recycling plants also face many problems like continuous foul smell, risk of fire, and landfill mountains, it emits poisonous gases such as hydrogen Sulfide which critically impact the human lungs and is the cause of lung cancer; it also releases greenhouse gases in large quantity, about 13 percent cases of Asthma came from landfill areas. In this article, we are explicitly discussing Biomedical Waste and the threats that occur from it.

What is Biomedical Waste?

The waste that is generated in hospitals, laboratories, researcher's labs, and many other sources which produce waste that contains infectious materials such as microbes, microorganisms, disease-causing bacteria and viruses, and many other things that are hazardous for both humans and the environment. Usually the biomedical waste is generated from the hospitals that include used cotton, syringes, needles, disposable scalpels, blades, swabs, bandages, disposable medical waste, waste from autopsies, infected animal samples, hazardous substances like mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic, cytotoxic drugs that are being used in the cancer treatment and also their metabolites there are countless such type of waste that is being generated in every single second and moreover, it is hazardous for both our environment and for those health workers and rag pickers who separate out these biomedical waste from other waste at that they were completely exposed to those hazardous substance which can cause severe damage to the waste pickers.

Biomedical Waste Definition

The patients come to the hospitals to cure their diseases, but sometimes they are exposed to a new disease or a threat just by getting exposed to biomedical waste.

Threats to the Environment from Biomedical Waste

  • A few years back, around 1987 to 1988, medical syringes were washed on the shores of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Because of this, many marine species become endangered in the surrounding areas, and the people who visit the beach also encounter that threat.
  • The most severe and damaging effect of biomedical waste in our environment is when we discharge poison (medical toxin) into the oceans; the marine creatures are consumed, which is a hazard for marine life.
  • Biomedical waste shows its most devastating impact when it gets interjected into the food chain, ultimately infecting the humans or the other members of the food chain who consume these sea creatures.
  • The high volume of plastic waste that is being used in the medical field is Inevitable, but it is injecting toxins into the environment that is degrading it to such an extinct that we are not able to cope with that damage.
  • While dealing with Biomedical waste, certain methods are often used, like post incineration process and many others like it; even the ash or the waste generated by this process was dumped in the landfills, and there were no barriers. Moreover, this waste tends to reach the groundwater level, and there it can easily pollute the water that humans sometimes use for their consumption and also the plants are also got effected by this waste.
  • While combustion of plastic biomedical waste releases various toxic gases in the atmosphere that combines with the breathable air and can cause various chronic diseases in the human species.
  • Constant exposure in such an environment can cause serious damage to the plant species in a specific area, like toxins like CO (Carbon Monoxide) and many others they just deemed detrimental to trees, eventually leading to their extinction in a specific area.
  • "Ozone Layer Depletion" we all must be aware of this depletion, and the unburnt carbon produced while disposing of it is also one such reason behind it.

Impact of Biomedical Waste on Humans

  • Human exposure to such toxins can leave many hazardous impacts and stunt Human Growth and development and can cause congenital disabilities by mutating the DNA of Humans.
  • The health workers and the scrap pickers who collect biomedical waste don't have the appropriate instrument for collecting it. Because of this, they become the first victim of Biomedical hazards.
  • Even in hospitals where this waste is generated, the patients around them become the victims, and it chronically impacts their lives.
  • Exposure to such type of waste leads to various chronic and acute diseases like cancer.
  • The people living near these biomedical recycling plants often suffer from breathing problems like Asthma and many more. Sometimes, when exposed to toxic gases, there is a high chance of lung cancer.
  • Biomedical waste could ultimately spread infectious diseases such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Low birth weight, preterm delivery, cardiovascular disease, congenital disability, and cancer.
  • Some other diseases, such as Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, diarrhea, whooping cough, and tetanus, are caused by a lack of proper disposal of biomedical waste.


Last but not least, different types of waste surround us, and ultimately, by their threats, some inevitable things don't have any such alternative now. Biomedical waste such as masks, syringes, gloves, cotton, sample collector, and many more is an example of their management. The higher authority has to impose some stringent steps that must be followed strictly by the hospital authority.

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