Ash from the incineration of hazardous health-care waste may continue to pose a risk. Burnt-out needles and
glass may have been disinfected but can still cause physical injury.
elevated concentrations of heavy metals and other toxic items, and the ash provides ideal conditions for the
synthesis of dioxins and furans, because it is often exposed for a long time to a temperature range of 200–450 °C.
Autoclave and steam disinfection treatment methods can also pose potential hazards that need to be managed.
In particular, good maintenance and operation should be undertaken to avoid physical injuries from high
operating temperatures and steam generation. Post-waste treatment water contains organic and inorganic
contaminants. The concentrations should be monitored to ensure that discharges to sewerage systems are
within regulated limits.
Health-care waste treatment mechanical equipment, such as shredding devices and waste compactors, can
cause physical injury when improperly operated or inadequately maintained.
Burial of health-care waste in landfill sites may pose hazards to workers and public. The risks are often
difficult to quantify, and the most likely injury comes from direct physical contact with waste items. Chemical
contaminants or pathogens in landfill leachate may be released into surface streams or groundwater. On poorly
controlled land-disposal sites, the presence of fires and subsurface burning waste poses the further hazard of
airborne smoke. The smoke may contain heavy metals and other chemical contaminants that over time may
affect the health of site workers and the general public.
Quite apart from fear of health hazards, the general public is sensitive about the visual impact of
particularly recognisable human body parts, including fetuses. There are no normal circumstances where it is
acceptable to dispose of anatomical waste inappropriately, such as dumping in a landfill.
In Muslim and some other cultures, especially in Asia, religious beliefs require human body parts to be returned
to a patient’s family and buried in cemeteries.