Potential Environmental Risks from Home Healthcare-Generated Municipal Solid Waste in Texas
A. Oyewole, Dr. J. Sapp, Dr. B. Wilson, O. Oyewole

Current hazardous waste disposal policies in the Home Health Care setting were evaluated as it related to the need for better regulation of hazardous materials entering residential waste streams. It was found that all waste materials from home care visits with the exception of “sharps,” were placed directly into residential waste streams. Therefore, large volumes of potentially hazardous waste go undetected annually to municipal incinerators along with ordinary household refuse. Accordingly, the application of established TCEQ regulations to the home health environment is critical to protecting the public and the environment from possible harm. At the least, some home care waste should also be included in the list of household hazardous waste. The urgency for improved disposal methods is due to increasing the volumes of potentially hazardous materials and increased risks to public health and environment from toxic leachates and incinerator by-products.

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