Indianapolis, IN, September 2020 – More than six months in from the start of the global response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, data from hospitals and medical providers suggests that medical waste generation has significantly increased over this time period. “Hospitals in Wuhan, the center of the COVID-19 outbreak, produced more than 240 tons of single-use plastic-based medical waste (such as disposable face masks, gloves, and gowns) per day at the peak of the pandemic, 6 times more than the daily average before the pandemic occurred. If the increases observed in Wuhan hold true elsewhere, the United States could generate an entire year’s worth of medical waste in 2 months”1.
In addition to medical waste generated by increased personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, the efforts to create and then effectively distribute a vaccine are expected to generate significant amounts of medical waste that will need to be disposed of safely and environmentally consciously. This will require efficaciously treating mixed source waste at scale while avoiding the harmful environmental and human health impacts of incineration.
BioSAFE Engineering’s STI commercial Medical Waste Treatment System offers hospitals and pharmaceutical companies an onsite decontamination option that efficaciously and reliably inactivates all bacteria, viruses (including COVID-19) mycobacterium, parasites, fungi and bacterial spores.
Once treated, STI systems render medical waste contaminates safe to the general public and the environment. STI non-incineration Regulated Medical Waste Treatment systems incorporate integral shredding, steam treatment and dehydration.
The STI Medical Waste Treatment system is fully enclosed. Air entering the STI systems is HEPA filtered at 99.97% minimum efficiency at 0.3 micron to assure that airborne contaminants are contained by the system assuring safety for healthcare waste treatment personnel.
Accumulation of plastic waste during COVID-19
BY TANVEER M. ADYEL
SCIENCE11 SEP 2020 : 1314-1315