In the dumps

Delhi hospitals continue to flout biomedical waste management norms

Published: Thursday 31 October 2002

-- (Credit: Amit Shanker / CSE)non-compliance of biomedical waste management rules by hospitals in Delhi comes as no surprise. A recent survey conducted by the Delhi government's department of environment (doe) has now further confirmed this. The survey points out that the hospitals in the city continue to flout the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. The department has named 12 hospitals in the city. Some of the worst performers are All India Institute of Medical Sciences (aiims); Safdarjung Hospital; Lady Hardinge Medical College; Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and Hindu Rao Hospital.

"Incinerators are not following the emission norms and are also not adhering to waste treatment in the stipulated temperatures," says Naini Jayaseelan, chairperson, Delhi Pollution Control Committee. The prescribed emission limit is 150 milligramme per normal metre cube (mg/ nm3) for particulate matter. But most incinerators in hospitals were found to be emitting more than 300 mg/ nm3. A study by Srishti, a New Delhi-based non-governmental organisation (ngo) found glass vials and burnt tubes in the incinerator ash, which indicates that glass and plastic continues to be burnt illegally.

According to Vatavaran, a New Delhi-based ngo there is a thriving trade of illegal recycling of hospital waste in the city. "Everyday around 70 kilogrammes of syringes and 1,000 gloves are stolen from aiims, " says Iqbal Malik, director of Vatavaran.

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