People, Environment

Ultimatum for Tehran Hospitals Over Waste Management

Ultimatum for Tehran Hospitals Over Waste ManagementUltimatum for Tehran Hospitals Over Waste Management

Four Tehran hospitals, which have put off managing medical waste despite warnings from the Tehran office of the Department of Environment will be prosecuted unless they address the problems before July 5.

During the third Iranian month (started May 21), 10 hospitals were found to have violated regulations pertaining to the management and separation of hazardous waste, all of which were given formal warnings by the DOE, according to Mohammad Hossein Bazgir, head of Tehran’s DOE office.

The official said six hospitals have revamped their medical waste management systems and the remaining four healthcare centers are still struggling with the problem, Tasnim News Agency reported.

“Legal action will be taken against hospitals grappling with poor waste management and leachate problem … They will be penalized if they don’t play by the rules.”

Hazardous waste, which may include flammable, toxic, corrosive and radioactive materials, endangers public health and the environment by polluting soil and contaminating groundwater resources, among others.

Regular, industrial, agricultural, medical and other types of waste need to be separated and disposed of in special ways or be disinfected via special devices.

The DOE has repeatedly called on hospitals and industrial units to adhere to the formulated rules and threatened those who mix hazardous and other types of waste with legal action.

“Waste, especially in hospitals, is a critical issue and has to be carefully managed,” Bazgir said.

A growing number of hospitals in Tehran are installing autoclaves to disinfect medical waste and some are using chemical methods of disinfection. Both methods are approved by the Health Ministry and help reduce the risks carried by untreated waste.