Medical Waste Treatment - Alternative Technologies

Fact Sheet No. 5

Alternative medical waste treatment methodologies are derived from four scientific knowledge bases: Oxidation, Chemical Biocide, Metal Biocide and High Energy Photonics. Each of these alternative methodologies have limited efficacy against the combined, complex biological, pharmaceutical and other organic compounds found in fluid medical waste streams. These methodologies are also capable of producing reaction by-products that are equally hazardous to human health and the environment.

Efficacy Limitations and Hazards Potential of Alternative Waste Treatment Methodologies

Oxidation  
Incineration Hazardous airborne combustion by-products
Plasma Surface effect with no penetration of bulk volume, minimal impact on pharmaceutical and other organic compounds
Ozone Highly unstable with minimal impact on pharmaceutical and other organic compounds
Chemical Biocide  
Commercial Disinfectants Hazardous reaction by-products, no impact on pharmaceutical and other organic compounds
Metal Biocide  
Metal Ions Unreacted ionic hazards, no impact on pharmaceutical and other organic compounds
High Energy Photonics  
UV Light Surface effect with no bulk volume penetration, minimal impact on pharmaceutical and other organic compounds
Gamma Radiation Handling hazards with minimal impact on pharmaceutical and other organic compounds
Microwave Handling hazards, unknown athermic and radiolytic reaction by-products