Title: Criteria for classification and destination of healthcare wastes with potential biological risk: comparison between Brazil and Portugal

Authors: Marcos Paulo Gomes Mol; Noil Amorim De Menezes Cussiol; Susana Paixão

Addresses: Ezequiel Dias Foundation (FUNED), Research and Development Department, Conde Pereira Carneiro Street, 80, Belo Horizonte City, 30510-010, Brazil ' Nuclear Technology Development Center (CDTN), Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Presidente Antonio Carlos Avenue, 6.627, Belo Horizonte City, 31270-901, Brazil ' Environmental Health – IPC, EsTesC, Coimbra Health School, 5 de Outubro Street, 3046-854, Coimbra, Portugal

Abstract: Healthcare wastes (HCW) have potential sources of disease spread, however, only a small fraction presents a high potential risk. It is important for the scientific community to discuss topics about these risks. This study aims to evaluate the classification and destination of HCW in Brazil and in Portugal, with a particular focus on infectious wastes. A bibliographical research was carried out based on scientific papers and legal instruments about HCW management. Wastes with lower infectious hazard, A4 subgroup in Brazil, do not require previous treatment before final disposal. In Portugal, differences in classification system suggested that the Brazilian A4 subgroup is comparable with some wastes from patient's rooms and health assistance areas, considered as high risk. These differences influence the management system, particularly in relation to infectious waste. Both Brazilian and Portuguese standards recommend safety during the management process, aiming at the protection involved workers.

Keywords: solid waste; healthcare waste; HCW; medical waste; waste classification; waste destination; waste segregation; legislation; Brazil; Portugal; biological risk.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2021.112954

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2021 Vol.27 No.2, pp.224 - 242

Accepted: 08 Sep 2019
Published online: 15 Dec 2020 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article