Over the years there have been tremendous advancements in the health care system. However it is ironic that the health care settings, which restore and maintain community health, are also threatening their well-being. Poor waste management practices pose a huge risk to the health of the public, patients, professionals and contribute to environmental degradation.
It is reported that for the first time the Biomedical waste management issue was discussed at a meeting convened by the World Health Organization regional office for Europe at Bergen, Norway in 1983. The seriousness of the issue was brought to limelight during the “beach wash- ups” of summer 1988. Investigation carried out by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) of USA in this regard culminated in the passing of Medical Waste Tracking Act (MWTA), November 1988. With the passage of time the problem has evolved as a global humanitarian issue.
In our country, this issue has attracted the attention of the Honourable Supreme Court of India and guidelines have been issued .The Bio-medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998 lay down clear methods for disposal of bio-medical waste, defined as “any waste generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities used in the production or testing of biological.” Pollution control boards of every state have been given the task of authorizing and implementing the rules.