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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Concerns about thermal medical waste treatment technologies

Monica Wilson, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, 1442A Walnut St #20, Berkeley, CA 94709, 510-883-9490 x103, mwilson@no-burn.org

Medical waste incineration releases many pollutants that negatively impact human health and the environment. The released pollutants include persistent organic pollutants (e.g., dioxin) and heavy metals (e.g., mercury). In recent years, some thermal technologies that involve combustion (i.e., plasma arc, pyrolysis, and gasification) have been marketed as alternatives to medical waste incineration. Review of proposals for new facilities and research of facility operation has found that these technologies have emissions similar to standard medical waste incinerators and present similar public health and environmental concerns.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

The Health Impacts of Medical Waste Incineration and Alternatives

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA