What should be done with the large amount of medical waste generated during the covid-19 outbreak? Can you use a shredder to handle it?
This year, the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak has been in Wuhan, Hubei province in a full outbreak, in all provinces across the country is also gradually spreading, confirmed cases and suspected cases continue to increase, Hubei masks, protective clothing and all kinds of medical supplies are in urgent need, masks across the country in short supply.
In response to the looming outbreak of pneumonia, masks, protective clothing and other medical supplies are rapidly being used up, creating an epidemic of infectious medical waste. If medical waste is not properly disposed of, it will inevitably lead to secondary infection, leading to the continued spread of the epidemic. Then, can be the medical waste generated by this outbreak treat treated and reused by shredder, crusher and other waste recovery equipment?
Through this article, we will make a detailed analysis of how to dispose of the large amount of medical waste generated under the outbreak of pneumonia. Can you use shredder, crusher and other equipment for processing and recovery? The analysis mainly focuses on six questions: what clinical wasted? Why can't clinical waste be treated as ordinary waste? What regulation does the country have medical treatment waste? Does Hubei province have the capacity to deal with all clinical waste generated by the pneumonia outbreak? What measures can be taken to deal with the medical waste caused by the pneumonia outbreak? What should I do on my personal use of masks?
1.What clinical wastes?
According to the "regulations on the management of medical waste", medical waste refers to the waste that is directly or indirectly infectious, toxic and other harmful generated by medical and health institutions in the course of medical treatment, prevention, health care and other related activities.
According to the clinical waste classification catalogue, clinical waste is divided into five categories:
The first is infectious medical waste, this is carrying pathogenic microorganisms have cause infectious disease spread dangerous medical waste, including the infectious diseases of blood, body fluids, fecal contamination of items (such as cotton ball, masks, clothing, after use, disposable medical supplies, disposable medical equipment, etc.) and medical institutions were isolated patients of infectious diseases or suspected patients of infectious diseases to produce living garbage, est. large amount of clinical waste caused by the pneumonia outbreak may be infectious.
The second category is pathological medical waste, which is mainly human waste generated in the process of diagnosis and treatment and the corpses of medical experimental animals.
The third category is the injured medical waste, that is, discarded sharp instruments that can stab or cut the human body, such as medical needles, scalpels, glass test tubes and so on.
The fourth category is pharmaceutical medical waste, mainly including expired, eliminated, deteriorated or contaminated waste drugs.
The fifth category is chemical medical waste, toxic, corrosive, flammable and explosive waste chemicals, such as laboratory waste chemical disinfectants, chemical reagents and so on.
According to the provisions of the national health commission, medical institutions in the diagnosis and treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia patients and suspected patients with fever outpatient and ward (room) generated waste, including medical waste and household garbage, should be classified as medical waste collection and treatment.
2.Why can't medical waste be considered as ordinary garbage?
Ordinary garbage, mainly including household garbage and construction solid waste, is not infectious, toxic or corrosive. We directly throw these ordinary garbage into municipal garbage cans or landfill disposal, which will not damage the environment or other people.
Medical waste, in general, will have corrosive, toxic, flammable, reactive or infectious and other one or several dangerous characteristics, will produce a certain risk to the environment and human health.
According to the list of national hazardous wastes revised by the ministry of environmental protection in 2016, all solid wastes (including liquid wastes) under any of the following circumstances are classified as hazardous wastes :(1) those with one or more hazardous characteristics, such as corrosiveness, toxicity, inflammability, reactivity or infectivity;(2) not excluding those with hazardous characteristics that may cause harmful effects on the environment or human health and which need to be managed in accordance with hazardous waste.
"The national hazardous waste list" specified in the medical waste belongs to hazardous waste, must be in accordance with the hazardous waste disposal requirements prescribed by the state, collection, operation, storage, processing, disposal, cannot be discarded in the municipal garbage can, also can't directly on the landfill, otherwise it will produce pollution to air, water, soil, etc, and even produce secondary damage to people.
3.What are the regulations of the state on the treatment of medical waste?
Country issued a series of laws and regulations on hazardous waste treatment, policy documents and standards, and specifically for medical waste disposal has released the related management requirements and technical specifications, such as the medical waste management regulations, the catalog of medical waste classification, the technical specification for concentrated disposal of medical wastes, the concentration of medical waste incineration disposal engineering technical specifications "and" technical specification for medical waste car running and so on.
This document has put forward clear provisions on the collection, transfer, storage, treatment and disposal of medical waste. The treatment of medical waste in strict accordance with the provisions can realize the harmless disposal of medical waste, avoid the spread of diseases caused by medical waste, and ensure the health of everyone. In the face of the pneumonia outbreak, in order to effectively deal with the medical waste, the relevant departments have issued relevant regulations.
The general office of the national health commission of the People's Republic of China issued a notice concerning the management of medical waste in medical institutions during the outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus.
The ministry of ecology and environment issued the "emergency management and technical guidelines for the emergency disposal of medical waste caused by novel coronavirus pneumonia".
Hubei provincial department of ecology and environment issued an urgent notice on strengthening the environmental management of medical waste in response to the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.
Other provinces are also issuing medical waste management requirements for the pneumonia outbreak.
4. Does Hubei province have the capacity to deal with all clinical waste?
At present, the outbreak of pneumonia is the most serious in Wuhan, followed by other cities in Hubei province. We first analyzed whether Wuhan city has the capacity to deal with all the medical waste generated locally, and then analyzed the capacity of all regions in Hubei province to deal with medical waste.
According to Wuhan municipal solid waste environmental pollution prevention and control information notice 2018 issued by Wuhan municipal bureau of ecology and environment, in 2018, the amount of medical waste produced in Wuhan was 17,300 tons, and the amount of disposal was 17,300 tons. All of them were transported to Wuhan ham’s medical waste incineration and disposal center, and 100% of them were treated by harmless incineration.
Wuhan hanta medical waste incineration and disposal center, invested and built by Wuhan hanta environmental engineering co., LTD., was formally put into operation in 2012. At present, it is the only business unit in Wuhan city qualified to deal with medical waste. The disposal center is located in Wuhan city young pan top mountain, covers an area of about 20000 square meters, specifically responsible for collection, storage and disposal of medical wastes in Wuhan city, the medical waste paralysis gasification incineration technology, the scale of processing for 18000 tons/year, the design, the disposal of medical wastes of 50 tons, under normal circumstances, the full load operation of the basic can meet the demand of all medical waste treatment in Wuhan city.
The spread of the epidemic, as pneumonia confirmed cases and suspected cases of rapid rise, there are a large number of potential cases in the hospital waiting for testing (for example, have a fever), the overload operation of the Wuhan each big hospital at present, the level of medical waste will be far in excess of the daily every day, and produced a large number of pneumonia outbreak has strong infectious medical waste, must be on the same day as soon as possible.
However, the only medical waste incineration plant in Wuhan is already operating at full capacity under normal conditions. In addition, the large amount of medical waste temporarily generated during the epidemic will inevitably exceed its disposal capacity. I estimate that it is difficult for Wuhan to incinerate and dispose of all medical waste for the first time.
However, these infectious medical waste, if not treated in time, may lead to the secondary spread of the epidemic, we have to pay great attention to it. We further analyzed the medical waste disposal capacity of Hubei province.
According to the list of hazardous waste management unit of Hubei province in 2019, a total of 17 in Hubei province medical waste collection, storage, processing, disposal unit, directly under each level city, autonomous prefecture, county set up a basic medical waste treatment plant, Hubei medical waste disposal ability of the provincial total of about 70000 tons/year (equivalent to 3.8 of Wuhan city), the processing capacity is about 200 tons a day.
At present, the scale of medical waste treatment in Hubei province is not high, which may barely meet the daily treatment need of medical waste. According to my understanding of the current situation of hazardous waste industry, in order to avoid paying the waste disposal fee, the units that produce hazardous waste or medical waste in many areas of the country mix medical waste with municipal household garbage, or simply dispose of it and discard it, or even resell medical waste for recycling.
That is to say, if all countries in strict accordance with the requirements of all medical waste handling, now in some parts of the medical waste disposal ability, can't meet the demand of daily processing, this is the present condition of the waste industry, this also is in the country under the powerful supervision in recent years, in order to make up for the deficiency of as soon as possible and waste can be the cause of the rapid development of industry.
A large number of medical waste products of the SARS outbreak, the country will certainly be strong oversight and related units must be in strict accordance with the provisions of the medical waste collection, storage and processing of pneumonia outbreak, while also driving along with all the other daily regulation of medical waste, do not allow the mixed with municipal garbage or discarded, are not allowed to sell more recycling, otherwise the outbreak is hard to stop. This will test the medical waste disposal capacity of different regions.
Pneumonia epidemic broke out in the whole Hubei is in phase, the city's ability to burn the first time in Hubei medical waste processed locally produced pneumonia outbreak, whether has the ability to receive additional medical waste in Wuhan city, near or receive additional medical waste elsewhere, all these problems need to make a question mark, this is a true test of Hubei province medical waste disposal ability, test their global overall ability.
5. What measures should be taken to deal with the medical waste caused by pneumonia?
Based on the above analysis, I estimate that the capacity of medical waste treatment in Wuhan city and even other areas of Hubei province is relatively limited at present, so it is difficult to effectively and quickly deal with all the medical waste in a short time.
So, what measures need to be taken to alleviate, or fundamentally solve?
Novel coronavirus infected pneumonia patients generated by medical waste, has a strong infectivity, the most safe and reliable is high-temperature incineration disposal (temperature ≥850℃), followed by consideration of non-incineration disposal, such as high-temperature steam disinfection, microwave disinfection, chemical disinfection.
Finally, can be the medical waste generated under the epidemic recycle recycled with shredders and plastic crushers?
In summary, the medical waste generated under the whole epidemic situation cannot be recovered and reused by shredders and plastic crushers. The medical waste generated during the epidemic should be incinerated at high temperature. Of course, the general waste, such as plastic bottles, plastic film and other waste or more recommends that we classify recycling, and then by shredder, plastic crusher and other plastic recycling equipment for processing and recycling.
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