Medical Waste: Why Incineration is a Waste of Resources Essay example

Medical Waste: Why Incineration is a Waste of Resources Essay example

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For over three decades, Medical waste disposal has been a major controversial issue within the environmental field. The biggest controversy being, that the medical waste definition has been tossed around resulting in uncertainty of which disposal method is more suitable depending on what the debris consists of. The most common yet vague definition proposed by the Healthcare Waste Management
Monitoring Plan is “all the waste hazardous or not, generated by health institutions during medical activities, preventive, curative and/or diagnostic.”(S. V. Manyele* and T. J. Lyasenga ). Due to the indistinct definition of medical waste, segregation for treatment technology's became a complication, resulting in increased percentage of debris being incinerated. This method does indeed provide beneficial advantages, but studies have shown that the emissions arising from the incinerators pose perilous threats to not only the environment but to the public as well.


In order to dispose of Medical waste, multiple methods of disposal were constructed. The main procedures being, steam sterilization which consists of the complete elimination of microorganisms from the debris so it will be permitted for disposal in the landfill's (Christina Louise Martini), and incineration which as mentioned by (Wendy Stynes), is the burning of infectious waste which reduces the volume and converts it into a non-burnable ash that can be disposed of in the land. While sterilization is used occasionally in the process of discarding Medical waste, in her article “Medical Waste Regulation in the United States: A Dire Need for Recognition and Reform” (Christina Louise Martini) agrees that Incineration however is the more popular selection as more than 80% of t...

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...asp the attention of the public of the infectious risks associated with this treatment method. The more research is done on the emissions arising from the incinerators, the more efficiently the message can be conveyed. With the knowledge of incineration's hazards, a more efficient treatment method can be proposed. Additional research would inaugurate the question “ can there possibly be an alternative method that doesn't involve such negative impacts? Or can incineration be refined to become a more appropriate resource?”. It would be more beneficial to improve incineration to the point where it doesn't pose as a hazard, but if that was improbable, a seek for a new treatment method would be the only option. Until then the incineration cycle will continue, leaving the public and environment the inevitable losers and this waste disposal method the undeniable winner.

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