Date of Award

6-1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Mohamed Fathy Hamoda

Second Advisor

Mohammed T. Ghoneimah

Third Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Nabil Abou Taleb

Abstract

The gradual expansion and development of new public and private medical complexes have resulted in the production of various types of wastes which include hazardous materials. Such wastes require appropriate handling and management schemes based on safer disposal methods. There are no reliable figures for quantifying the amount of medical waste generated or appropriate legislation and guidelines for handling, storage, transport and disposal of medical waste in the United Arab Emirates. No previous detailed studies have been conducted for the management of medical waste in the UAE. In general there is insufficient awareness of the health hazard associated with improper handling and disposal of such wastes.

This study has been conducted to analyze the present status of hospital waste management in the UAE and subsequently recommend a policy regarding, generation, collection, handling, storage, transport, treatment, and disposal. This was done, through field investigations of sixty health care facilities; where all steps of waste management are surveyed. The generation rate of solid wastes for the hospitals ranged between 0.01 and 2.7 kg/bed/day, and for health centers and clinics were between 0.03 and 0.18 kg/pat./day. The correlation among various effective factors related to waste management, such as number of beds, number of patients, and hospital personnel were also determined.

The study also evaluated the performance of the treatment methods used in the UAE for the disposal of clinical waste. It showed that incineration is the only treatment method available for the destruction of clinical waste. Performance evaluation of incineration was conducted through an analysis of the end products of the process (i.e. bottom residues) for detection of heavy metals. The study examined the relationship between various metals within the facility, and variation across facilities for the same metal. The major metals which have been detected in ash analysis ranged between 2.04% and 3.41% of the total ashes and included aluminum, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead and zinc. Exposure to such elements could create health problems. Moreover, long-term liability for disposal of ash by landfilling may contribute to groundwater contamination through metal leaching. The effect of segregation system, operating rate, and the de-ashing mechanisms are discussed. Recommendations of the safe handling and disposal of incinerator ash are included in this study.

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