Document Type: Research Paper
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
Research Center for Social Determinants of Health (SDH), Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
Background and Objectives: Disposal of hospital wates is a significant environemtal concerns, particularly in develoing regions of the world. Addressing this challenge relies on availability of detailed data on the current status of wate management. Mazandaran Province is located in southern coast of the Caspian Sea and thus its environmental status may directly influence the environment of this Sea. The present study aimed to characterize the situation of hospital solid wate management in this province.
Methods: The solid waste management of 40 hospitals of various types were surveyed. Data were collected by a researcher-made questionnaire and summarized using descriptive statistical methods.
Findings: Mean per capita of infectious, general, sharp, and total wastes, was fround to be 0.95, 1.59, 0.06, and 2.61 kg/bed/day, respectively. A total of 36.1% of all waste is hazardous waste (infectious and sharp wastes). The distance between the temporary place of waste and the nearest hospital ward is < 20 m in 15%, 20-50 m in 52.5%, 50-100 m in 12.5%, and > 100 m in 20% of the hospitals. This time of wast residence is < one day in 42.5%, one day in 37.5%, two days in 12.5%, and one week in 7.5% of hospitals. The type of temporary place of waste was a roofed concrete chamber, a metal container, an outdoor area, and a tightly-closed plastic container, respectively, in 82.5%, 10%, 5%, and < 1% of the hospitals. The infectious waste is incinerated in 57.5%, autoclaved/hydro-claved in 35%, and disposed untreated in < 1% of hospitals. Infection control training courses are held every month in 27.5%, every three months in 12.5%, every six months in 40%, and once a year in 17.5% of the hospitals.
Conclusions: A large volume of the total hospital waste is hazardous waste. Desposal of waste in more than half of the hospitals take one day or more. The environmental and health risk associated with this situation calls for appropriate measures. More than half of the surveyed hospitals treat their wast by incineration which may release considerable amounts of air pluants. Equipping these hospitals with autoclave and hydro-clave devices is thus significant to protection of the environment.