Cytotoxic waste is produced by hospitals all over the country and it is incredibly important that this kind of waste is correctly disposed of. This particular waste type is the production of a certain type of waste which is generated by cytostatic medicines. These particular medicines inhibit the cellular growth and division in a patient, and a perfect example of it would be chemotherapy drugs.
Hospitals have a high responsibility when it comes to correctly disposing of all of its waste, because of the clear and present dangers which the mishandling of it could result in. From human tissue to blood, radioactive and of course cytotoxic waste, it is imperative that all rules and regulations are tightly followed. There are laws which are in place to correctly manage the disposal of this kind of waste, and here is how cytotoxic waste is removed and processed from a hospital.
Each hospital has a number of different waste sites which are color coded so as to remove any confusion. Cytotoxic waste has its own area for wastage and no other products should be mixed up with this particular waste. This waste must not only be placed in the right place, but it should also be handled with care by hospital staff because of the potential for infection which it creates. Once waste bins or bags are full, they should be sealed and color coded for collection.
Disposing of the Waste
The only safe way in which this kind of waste can be correctly disposed of is through incineration. During this process, which is carried out in waste disposal plants, the wastage will be placed in a huge incinerator and burned to a very high temperature. Not only does this kill off any potential hazards, it burns the waste down to ash which is the only way in which it is then able to be dumped at landfill. The reduction of the wastage by weight is enormous, and the smoke which is generated from the burning of the waste also has to be correctly processed. As the smoke comes off the waste it is sent through a huge variety of chemical filter which eventually make it safe to be released into the atmosphere.
It is important that the authorities carry out regular assessments in hospitals in order to ensure that the waste which is being generated is correctly taken care of. If there are any discrepancies at all then the authorities have the right to hand out penalties and next steps to hospitals, given the dangers associated with the mishandling of cytotoxic and other forms of harmful waste which hospitals generate. In some rare cases we have seen criminal charges brought in hospitals, who have been repeat offenders in terms of how they manage their waste collection, storage and processing.
This is how such harmful waste is taken, processed and made safe to be be dumped with general waste, and how the by-products are also made safe.