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verview of hazards

This chapter is concerned with identifying the types of hazards associated with health-care waste and who may

be at risk from them by describing the public and environmental health impacts that need to be controlled. The

large component of non-hazardous health-care waste is similar to municipal waste and should not pose any higher

risk than waste produced in households. It is the smaller hazardous health-care waste component that needs to be

properly managed so that the health risks from exposure to known hazards can be minimized. Protection of the

health of staff, patients and the general public is the fundamental reason for implementing a system of health-care

waste management.



ypes of hazards

The hazardous nature of health-care waste is due to one or more of the following characteristics:

presence of infectious agents

a genotoxic or cytotoxic chemical composition

presence of toxic or hazardous chemicals or biologically aggressive pharmaceuticals

presence of radioactivity


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