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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2017 Apr-Jun;35(2):194-198. doi: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_17_105.

Biomedical waste management guidelines 2016: What's done and what needs to be done.

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Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


The latest biomedical waste (BMW) management guidelines which have been introduced in 2016 are simplified and made easier so that they can be easily followed by various health agencies. The categories of BMW have been reduced from ten (in 1998) to four in the latest (2016) guidelines. Many changes have been made in these latest guidelines, which have been summarised in the article below. The segregation of hospital waste plays a very important role, so the waste has to be sorted out at the source of generation according to the category to which it belongs as given in the newer guidelines. Newer waste treatment facilities such as plasma pyrolysis, encapsulation, inertisation have been introduced, and we have to do away with older facilities such as incineration as toxic fumes (dioxins and furans) are produced which are harmful to both health and environment. We can even think of using these wastewater treatment plants to remove the antimicrobial resistance genes during the processing of the waste, which is being generated from the hospitals.

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