The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has said that rules of 2016 have been modified to improve conformity and enhance the implementation of environmentally sound management of biomedical waste in India. Emphasizing on the effort to protect the environment and human health from infectious bio-medical waste, Vardhan pointed out that hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and dispensaries etc, generating bio-medical waste will not use chlorinated plastic bags and gloves in medical applications beyond March 27, 2019 to save the environment. Blood bags have been exempted for phase-out, as per the amended BMW rules, 2018, the Minister added.
Important features of Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018:
- Bio-medical waste generators including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories, blood banks, health care facilities, and clinical establishments will have to phase out chlorinated plastic bags (excluding blood bags) and gloves by March 27, 2019.
- All healthcare facilities shall make available the annual report on its website within a period of two years from the date of publication of the Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018.
- Operators of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities shall establish bar coding and global positioning system for handling of bio-medical waste in accordance with guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board by March 27, 2019.
- The State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees must compile, review and analyse the information received and send tis information to the Central Pollution Control Board in a new Form (Form IV A), which seeks detailed information regarding district-wise bio-medical waste generation, information on Health Care Facilities having captive treatment facilities, information on common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities.
- Every occupier, i.e. a person having administrative control over the institution and the premises generating biomedical waste shall pre-treat the laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples, and blood bags through disinfection or sterilization on-site in the manner as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or guidelines on safe management of wastes from health care activities and WHO Blue Book 2014 and then sent to the Common bio-medical waste treatment facility for final disposal.