Healthcare is an important aspect of life but the procedures involved in maintaining it generates huge amount of waste called bio-medical waste. Proper disposal and management of this waste is very imperative as it can spread contaminated causing diseases carrying pathogens which can be something deadly or highly infectious or hazardous for healthcare workers and patients. Thus, waste management has taken a central place in the global health policies. This has given rise to the global medical waste management market to grow at a CAGR of xx% in the forecast period of 2018 to 2025. In 2015, the medical waste management market was valued at USD xx Bn that will unfold its margin to USD xx Bn by the end of 2025.
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prevalence and incidence of infectious and life style diseases, higher cost of healthcare, rapidly growing population and adoption of novel technologies to treat the diseases are the key elements causing extensive production of medical waste. In response, concerns are arising over employing eco-friendly and safe waste management and treatment process driving the growth of medical waste management industry. However, lack of training for proper disposal and awareness about health hazards coupled with insufficient funds have hampered the market growth.
Process of Managing the Medical Waste
Medical waste needs to be treated with care and caution, not like standard trash tossed into garbage containers. It is a step-by-step process.
Segregation: This process reduces the volume of waste and toxicity, making it easier for waste transportation. The segregation process has three important parameters, composition, quantity and the disposal.
Separating: The medical waste collected from different medical centers, infectious, pathological sharps and waste needs to be deposited in allocated and labeled containers for different type of wastes. Size of containers is proportional to the volume of waste generated at a center.
Packaging and labeling: The next step involves packaging this medical waste in uniform color code and then label the waste.
Common storage: Collect the medical waste from the common storage point and segregate it.
Transportation: Transport the medical waste collected from common storage point to the common Bio-Medical waste treatment facility storage point.
Treatment: Process of incineration is implemented, includes destruction of waste by burning it as high temperature. First the removal of toxicity is achieved, value of waste decreases and converts to ash. Incineration process gives best results for destruction of pathological and sharp wastes. Another important step is autoclaving process, facilitating in killing infectious material and bacteria in the biomedical waste, it is noninfectious and go for landfill. To destroy waste such as vials, glass, plastics, syringes, blades, scalpels etc., shredding machine is used as it cuts waste into small pieces. This results in unrecognizable waste which is safe for disposal recycling and landfill.
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Countries Initiatives for Medical Waste Management
Almost every country around the world is taking efforts towards proper disposal of medical waste which is propelling medical waste management market size. Increased use of disposal items has become one of the major concern for developed countries. On the other hand, developing countries encounter the problem of disposing medical waste and its categorization in the sanitary arena.
United States healthcare facilities discard more than tons of waste, making it third largest source of medical waste in the world. Developing countries major issue is that domestic garbage dumped in open spaces where rag pickers search for reusable scrap and instead comes in contact with toxic materials and stand the risk of suffering from hazardous disease.
In sub-Saharan Africa, cases of burnt-out waste and incinerators are highly faced which led to innumerable of health issues. Developed countries are shipping medical waste to the developing countries to get freed of the menace.
Contribution from Major Key Players for Improving Medical Waste Management
Key players operating the global medical waste management market includes INC., Stericycle, Waste Management, Inc., CLEAN HARBORS, Sharps Compliance, Inc., Republic Services, Inc., Veolia, BioMedical Waste Solutions, LLC., Daniels Health, US Ecology, Inc. and BWS Incorporated. These companies are expanding their services by applying strategies and new service introduction like mail back system which results in augmentation of medical waste management market share. Sharps Compliance, Inc. in 2016 has received approval for its new facility which includes transfer station for pharmaceutical waste and medical waste treatment.
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