The health sector is a major source of dioxins and mercury in the global environment primarily as a result of medical waste incineration and the breakage and improper disposal of mercury-containing devices such as thermometers and sphygmomanometers. This project in Argentina, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam is developing and sustaining best healthcare waste management practices in a way that is both locally appropriate and globally replicable. An additional project component in Tanzania will develop, test and disseminate affordable and effective alternative healthcare waste treatment technologies appropriate to conditions in much of sub-Saharan Africa. The global project officially began in August 2008. However, except in Latvia and Tanzania, national projects were delayed in starting the implementation phase. Many of the countries are now conducting baseline assessments and some advances have been made on national policies. Achievements to date include: the development of guidance documents and tools, a pilot demonstration of a non-incineration treatment technology in Tanzania, engineering designs of appropriate technologies for sub-Saharan Africa, three national mercury conferences, and the creation of the global project website.
Please visit the website for the Global Healthcare Waste Project for more information.