Biomedical waste management

  • Biomedical wastes are defined as waste that is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals, or in research activities pertaining thereto, or in the production of biological.
Category Type of Waste Treatment and Disposal Options
Category 1 Human Anatomical Waste
(Human tissues, organs, body parts)
Incineration/Deep Burial
Category 2 Animal waste (Animal tissues, organs, body parts, carcasses,
bleeding parts,blood and experimental animals used in research)
Incineration/Deep Burial
Category 3 Microbiology and biotechnology waste
(waste from lab culture, specimens from microorganisms, vaccines,
cell cultures, toxins, dishes, devices used to transfer cultures)
Local Autoclaving/ Microwaving/ Incineration
Category 4 Waste Sharps (Needles, Syringes, scalpels, blades, glass) Chemical Disinfection Autoclaving/ Microwaving,
Mutilation and Shredding
Category 5 Discarded medicines and cytotoxic drugs
(outdated, contaminated, discarded drugs)
Incineration/ Destruction and disposal in land fills
Category 6 Soiled waste (contaminated with blood and body fluids including cotton
, dressings, soiled plasters, linen)
Autoclaving/ Microwaving/ Incineration
Category 7 Solid waste (tubes, catheters, IV sets) Chemical Disinfecion/ Autoclaving/ Microwaving,
Mutilation and Shredding
Category 8 Liquid waste (Waste generated from laboratory and washing, cleaning, disinfection) Disinfection by chemical treatment and discharge into the drains
Category 9 Incineration ash Land fills
Category 10 Chemical waste Chemical disinfection and discharge into the drains
Name of Disinfectant Available chlorine Required chlorine Required chlorine Contact period Amount of disinfectant to be dissolved
in 1 ltr of water
Sodium hypochlorite 5% 0.5% 30 min 100 ml
Calcium hypochlorite 70% 0.5% 30 min 7.0 gm
Na OCl powder - 0.5% 30 min 8.5 gm
Na Dichloro is ocyanurate
(NaDCC) tablets
60% 0.5% 30 min 4 tabs
Chloramine 25% 0.5% 30 min 20 gm
General use items Disinfection
Bath water Add savlon when necessary
Bed pans Wash with hot water and dry
Disinfect with phenol after use by infected patients Autoclave
Bowls Wash with hot water and keep dryAutoclave
Crockery, Cutlery Wash with hot water/detergent and keep dry
Floors Vacuum clean; No use of broom
Furnitures Damp dust with detergent/phenol/2% Lysol
Mattresses/Pillows Use water impermeable cover
Wash cover with detergent and keep dry
Disinfect with phenol/2%lysol
Trolley tops Wipe with warm water and detergent to remove dust and keep dry
Thermometers Wash with warm water/detergent and keep dry
Endoscopes/ Arthroscopes/ Laparoscopes/ Fiberoptic Endoscopes Immerse in2% Cidex solution
Use latex gloves, eye protection plastic covering mask while handling
Alternatively, use ethylene oxide sterilization
Endotracheal suction catheter Should be disposable
Endotracheal tubes Recycled after cleaning and autoclaving
Ambu Bags Ideally heat disinfect
Immerse in 2% glutaraldehyde and wash with sterile distilled water to reduce respiratory irritation
Oxygen delivery face mask Wash and dry
Use 70% isopropyl alcohol to remove mucus
Suction drainage bottles Ideally autoclave
Ventilatory circuits, respiratory equipment in Neonatal/Pediatric unit Heat disinfection for 800 F for 30 min
Ethylene oxide sterilization
Incubators Clean thoroughly wiyh warm water / soap
Use 70% isopropyl alcohol
Humidifiers Empty daily refill with sterile water
Disinfect when contaminated with 1% Na hypochlorite
Urinary Catheter Should be disposable
Colour coding Type of Container Waste Category Treatment options
Yellow Plastic Bags Human and animal wastes,Microbial and Biological
wastes and soiled wastes(Cat 1,2,3 and 6)
Incineration/ Deep Burial
Red Disinfected container/ Plastic bags Microbiological and Biological wastes,
Soiled wastes,
Solid wastes(Cat 3,6,7)
Autoclave/ Microwave/ Chemical Treatment)
Blue/ White/ Transparent Plastic bag, Puncture proof container Waste sharps and solid
waste( Cat 4 &7)
Autoclave/ Microwave/ Chemical Treatment Destruction and Shredding
Black Plastic bag Discarded medicines, Cytotoxic drugs,
Incineration ash and chemical waste
(Cat 5,9 & 10)
Disposal in secured land fills
Green Plastic Container General waste such as office waste, food waste & garden waste Disposed in secured landfills

Exam Question
  • Human anatomical waste is disposed by Incineration.
  • Human Anatomical Waste is disposed in a Yellow bag
  • Contents from a Red bag may be a source of contamination
  • Black bags are used for disposal of ash from incineration
  • Hospital waste product accounts Plastic 10%,
  • Amount of waste infectious produced in hospitals 45%
  • Average hospital waste produced per bed per day in Government hospital 0.5-4 kg
  • Biomedical waste(s) to he discarded in Yellow are Category I (Human anatomical waste), Category 2 (Animal waste), Catagory 3 (Microbiology and Biotechnology waste), and Catagory 6 (Solid waste).
  • Best for Incineration of infectious waste is Double - chamber
  • Halogenated plastic, Mercury,Radiological waste & waste sharp cannot be incinerated
  • Disposal of expired & cytotoxic drugs is by Separate land fill disposal
  • The majority of the waste produced by health-care providers is General waste
  • Sharp instruments like needles, syringes, scalpels hospital waste products are thrown in Blue bag
  • Human anatomical waste is the category I of biomedical waste in India
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