Medical Waste Incinerator

Hospitals, clinics, and other medical healthcare facilities use a medical waste incinerator to burn trash and medical waste.  Any type of healthcare facility needs a medical waste incinerator because of all the waste they produce, such as needles, body parts and fluids, diapers, bandages, and lab cultures.  The Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 defines medical waste as "any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals."  Items like this can still be infectious and potentially hazardous, so it must be removed safely.  Even when burned, the waste can still emit air pollutants, which could be hazardous.  This is where the medical waster incinerator comes into play. 

A medical waste incinerator burns the medical waste.  However, it during the burning process, it creates combustion gases and ash.  The gases must be vented into the air while the ashes are removed from the medical waste incinerator and placed in a landfill.  There are different types of medical waste incinerators that can be used.  The multiple chamber pathological waste incinerators are mostly used to dispose of pathological wastes.  The controlled air incinerator has two separate chambers. 

A medical waste incinerator is just one way healthcare facility can rid themselves of this medical waste.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict emission regulations however, regarding medical waste incinerators.  They have more stringent requirements for the newer incinerators than for the older ones.  The EPA classifies a new medical waste incinerator as one that was constructed after February 27, 1995.  Anything made before February 27, 1995 is seen as an old medical waste incinerator.  The EPA also then subcategories medical waste incinerators based on their size or how many pounds they can burn per hour.  Small incinerators burn 200 pounds of waste per hour, medium incinerators burn between 200 and 500 pounds of waste per hour, and large incinerators burn more than 500 pounds of waste per hour.

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