Int Conf AIDS. 1990 Jun 20-23;6(2):422 (abstract no. 3082). Unique
OBJECTIVE: Fear of AIDS by the general public was partially responsible
for the advent of stringent new Federal (USA) and State regulations
addressing disposal of medical waste. These statutes require medical
waste to be rendered both non-infectious and unrecognizable. A new
process of mechanical destruction and disinfection has been introduced,
the objective of this study is to compare this to on-site incineration.
METHODS: Incineration of medical waste was compared to mechanical
destruction and chemical disinfection with respect to costs, emissions,
approvals and licensing, disinfection of medical waste, and community
acceptance. RESULTS: Both incineration and mechanical/chemical treatment
were able to render medical waste non-infectious and unrecognizable.
Incineration had the disadvantages of temperature variability,
difficulties in licensing, permitting and community approval, air
emission problems (nitrous oxides, hydrogen chlorides), ash removal, and
higher costs. CONCLUSION: Mechanical/chemical treatment offers
substantial environmental, aesthetic, and monetary advantages over
on-site incineration. Ultimately it may help reduce the spiralling costs
of medical waste disposal exacerbated by the AIDS epidemic.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*PREVENTION & CONTROL Comparative
Study Costs and Cost Analysis Human *Medical Waste Public Opinion
Refuse Disposal/ECONOMICS ABSTRACT