NEW DELHI: With management of bio-medical waste posing a major problem, the Centre has now issued draft guidelines to use bar-coded system starting from collection to disposal for tracking of bio-medical waste generated from hospitals across the country.
India generates 484 tonnes per day of biomedical waste from 168,869 healthcare facilities. Only 15 percent of total bio-medical waste is hazardous but with no proper segregation, mixing of hazardous waste contaminates the entire waste.
The Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come out with draft guidelines on a ‘Bar Code System’ for proper disposal of the bio-medical waste. The guidelines have been prepared for ensuring effective enforcement of the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 notified in March 2016.
“Need for the bar coded system was felt for tracking of waste from source of generation to final destination for final treatment and disposal, identification of waste in the event of source of generation in case waste is disposed of improperly and quantification of bio-medical waste generated,” said an environment ministry official.
The Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 stipulates that it is the duty of the every operator to establish bar coding system for handling of bio-medical waste. In order to provide guidance to the stakeholders, these guidelines have been prepared for ensuring effective enforcement of the rules.
The rule covers institution and the premises generating bio-medical waste like hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary, veterinary institution, animal house, pathological laboratory, blood bank, health care facility and clinical establishment, irrespective of their system of medicine and by whatever name they are called.
“The Bar coded label should be tamper proof, water proof and its colour should not be faded in due course of at least for 48 hours after its use. It should be able to resist the temperatures, pressures maintained and should not fade its colour after microwaving or chemical disinfection,” the officer said.