Healthcare waste management as a tool for human health protection: a mini review




Medical waste; Public health; Waste generation; Work accident.


Healthcare wastes are generated by human or animal healthcare facilities. A small portion of these wastes are considered dangerous. However, accidents generated by incorrect waste management is a reality around the world. Accidents happen in different management stages, from the waste generation to its final destination, if waste is not properly managed. Therefore, this work aimed to discuss the possible problems related to the incorrect healthcare waste management, focusing on public health. This mini-review discussed some of the ways in which waste management can favor the preservation of public health and the environment, through steps such as minimization, segregation and recycling.


Akkajit P., Romin, H., Assawadithalerd, M., Al-Khatib, I.A. (2020) Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practice in respect of medical waste management among healthcare workers in clinics. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2020:1-12, doi 10.1155/2020/8745472

Ansari, M., Ehrampoush, M.H., Farzadkia, M., Ahmadi, E. (2019) Dynamic assessment of economic and environmental performance index and generation, composition, environmental and human health risks of hospital solid waste in developing countries; A state of the art of review. Environment International. 132(105073). Doi

Arafa, A; Eshak, E.S. (2019) Medical waste handling and hepatitis B virus infection: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Infection Control. 48(3):316-319. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2019.08.011.

Costa, C.A.; Maia, C.C.; Neves, AC., Barros, R.T.V., Mol, M.P.G. (2019) Profile of highly infected wastes generated by hospitals: A case in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Waste Management and Research. 37(6):643-650. doi:10.1177/0734242X19846296

Domingo, J.L., Marquès, M., Mari, M., Schuhmacher, M. (2020) Adverse health effects for populations living near waste incinerators with special attention to hazardous waste incinerators. A review of the scientific literature. Environmental Research., 187(109631). doi 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109631

Gao, J., Li, H., Wu, J., Lyu, J., Tan, Z., Jin, Z. (2021) Routing optimisation of urban medical waste recycling network considering differentiated collection strategy and time windows. Sci. Program., 2021 (2021), pp. 1-11, 10.1155/2021/5523910

Homayouni, Z., Pishvaee, M.S. (2020) A bi-objective robust optimization model for hazardous hospital waste collection and disposal network design problem. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management volume. 22(2020):1965-1984, doi 10.1007/s10163-020-01081-8

Idowu I, Alo B, Atherton W, et al. (2013). Profile of medical waste management in two healthcare facilities in Lagos, Nigeria: a case study. Waste Management & Research 31:494–501.

Khan BA, Cheng L, Khan AA, Ahmed H. (2019) Healthcare waste management in Asian developing countries: A mini review. Waste Management & Research. 37(9):863-875. doi:10.1177/0734242X19857470

Manzoor, J., & Sharma, M. (2019). Impact of Biomedical Waste on Environment and Human Health. Environmental Claims Journal, 1–24. doi:10.1080/10406026.2019.1619265

Mol MPG, Caldas S. (2020) Can the human coronavirus epidemic also spread through solid waste? Waste Management & Research. 38(5):485-486. doi:10.1177/0734242X20918312.

Mol MPG, Greco DB, Cairncross S, Heller L. (2015) Hepatitis B and C in household and health services solid waste workers. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 31:Sup, 295-300. Doi:

Nazari, Mateus Torres et al. (2020) Incidência de resíduos de serviços de saúde em cooperativas de triagem de materiais recicláveis. Eng. Sanit. Ambient., Rio de Janeiro , v. 25, n. 2, p. 271-279.

Ribeiro PAM; Neves, AC; Mol MPG. (2020) Quantitative estimation of healthcare wastes generated by brazilian hospitals: a literature review. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 19:7, 1143-1156.

Tesfahun E, Kumie A, Legesse W et al. (2014). Assessment of composition and generation rate of healthcare wastes in selected public and private hospitals of Ethiopia. Waste Management & Research 32(3):215-220.

Urban, RC; Nakada, LYK. (2020) COVID-19 pandemic: Solid waste and environmental impacts in Brazil. Science of The Total Environment. 755:Part 1. doi:

WHO, World Health Organization (2018). Available at <> acessed 25 Feb. 2021

Yao, L., Xu, Z., Zeng, Z.(2020) A soft‐path solution to risk reduction by modeling medical waste disposal center location‐allocation optimization. Risk Anal., 40 (2020), pp. 1863-1886, 10.1111/risa.13509

Zajac, M.A.L., Fernandes, C.J.D., Aquino, S. (2016) Reverse logistics of class-d waste in a hospital environment: monitoring and evaluation of recycling in the Candido Fontoura Children's Hospital. Revista de Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade. 5(1):78-92.




How to Cite

PIMENTA, A. C. M. .; PAIXÃO, S.; NEVES, A. C. .; MOL, M. P. G. . Healthcare waste management as a tool for human health protection: a mini review. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 2, p. e24311225203, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i2.25203. Disponível em: Acesso em: 23 feb. 2024.