Waste picker with a syringe from a dumpsite in Nairobi

Emissions from a Medical Waste Incinerator


Pollutants from Incineration

For many decades, incineration was the method of choice for the treatment of infectious waste. However, medical waste incinerators release into the air a wide variety of more

Health Impacts of Incineration

A health risk assessment study was commissioned by the World Health Organization and completed in January 2004.  The study looked at how small-scale incinerators are operated in the field, their reported emissions of dioxins and furans, and cancer risks. The study concluded that ingestion intake rates and carcinogenic risks were unacceptable more

Global Trends on Medical Waste Incineration

The use of medical waste incinerators has declined in many industrialized countries for health and environmental reasons. In 1988, for example, the number of medical waste incinerators in the United States was estimated at 6,200. By 2013, the number dropped to 33.  In Canada, the number of hospital incinerators dropped from 219 in 1995 to 120 in 2000; then, following the example of the province of British Columbia, the more

The WHO policy paper [JE4] of 2004 and the Stockholm Convention[JE5]  on Persistent Organic Pollutants highlight the need to consider the risks associated with the incineration of healthcare waste.

The UNDP GEF Global Healthcare Waste Project demonstrated best environmental practices read more