Health-care waste classification in Vietnam

Health-care waste classification in Vietnam
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What are the regulations on the health-care waste classification in Vietnam? - Hoang Phuong (HCMC)

Health-care waste classification in Vietnam

Health-care waste classification in Vietnam (Internet image) 

Regarding this issue, LawNet would like to answer as follows:

1. Health-care waste classification in Vietnam

According to Clauses 1, 2 and 3, Article 4 of Circular 20/2021/TT-BYT, hazardous health-care waste includes infectious waste and non-infectious hazardous waste.

* Infectious waste includes:

- Infectious sharps waste: needles, syringes with needles, intravenous line (IV) cannulas, puncture needles, acupuncture needles; scalpel blades, surgical nails, saws; used and disposed syringes, glass sharps, sharp objects, that is contaminated with or contains the human blood or pathogenic microorganisms;

- Infectious non-sharps waste: cottons, bandages, gauzes, gloves, and other non-sharp wastes that is not contaminated with or contains blood or pathogenic microorganisms; discarded inactivated vaccine or attenuated vaccine bottles; infectious liquid waste (includes drainage fluid after surgery or medical procedures and fluid waste that contains human blood or pathogenic microorganisms);

- Highly infectious waste: specimens, tools that contain specimens, wastes that contain discarded specimens from BSL-2 laboratories equivalent (biosafety level 2) or above; waste from isolation rooms, isolation wards, sampling areas for patients who have dangerous infectious diseases of group A and group B;

- Surgery waste: tissues, discarded human parts, and experimental animal carcasses;

* Non-infectious hazardous waste includes:

- Discarded chemicals with ingredients and properties exceeding the hazardous waste threshold or with hazard warnings on their labels;

- Discarded pharmaceutical products falling under the cytotoxicity category or with hazard warnings on their labels;

- Medicine or chemical bottles and jars, other tools that contain medicine or chemical in the cytotoxicity category; or bottles that have hazard warnings on their labels;

- Discarded used broken medical equipment which contains mercury, Cadmium (Cd); discarded batteries; discarded lead-coated materials used in radiation shielding;

- X-Ray film developer solutions, wastewater from testing and analysis equipment, and discarded fluids with hazardous elements exceeding the hazardous waste threshold;  

- Other health-care wastes that have ingredients and properties exceeding the hazardous waste threshold or have hazard warnings on their labels;

2. Health-care waste segregation in Vietnam

 Health-care waste segregation in Vietnam according to Article 6 of Circular 20/2021/TT-BYT is as follows:

* Rules of health-care waste segregation:

- Health-care wastes shall be segregated at the point and time of generation;

- Each type of health-care waste shall be separately segregated into the packaging, tools, and equipment as prescribed in Article 5 of this Circular. In case the hazardous health-care wastes do not react with each other and are treated with the same method, segregate them into one containing packaging, tool, equipment (excluding infectious sharps waste);

- In case the infectious wastes are mixed with other wastes, collect, store, and treat them as infectious wastes and keep handling them as after-treatment wastes.

* Placing of segregation tools and packaging:

- At faculties, departments, divisions: the storage tools, packaging, and equipment shall be placed appropriately and safely;

- At the place where the storage tools, packaging, and equipment are placed, there shall be an instruction for segregation and collection of waste.

* Infectious wastes segregation:

- Infectious sharps waste: put in the yellow puncture-proof trash can or container;

- Infectious non-sharps waste: put in the yellow lined trash can;

- Highly infectious waste: put in the yellow lined trash can;

- Surgery waste: double-bagged or put in the yellow lined trash can;

- Liquid infectious waste: put in a sealed bag or in a storage tool with a sealed lid.

* Non-infectious hazardous waste segregation:

- Non-infectious hazardous wastes shall be segregated by hazardous waste code to be stored in appropriate packaging, tools, and equipment.  Hazardous wastes that share the same properties; do not react with each other and treated with the same method; may be segregated in the same packaging, tool, equipment;

- Non-infectious hazardous solid wastes: put in black bags, trash cans, or lined trash cans;

- Non-infectious hazardous liquid waste: put in storage tools with a sealed lid.

* Other ordinary solid waste segregation:

- Non-recyclable ordinary wastes: put in blue bags, trash cans, or lined trash cans. Sharps shall be put in puncture-proof trash cans;      

- Recyclable ordinary waste: put in blue bags, trash cans, or lined trash cans.

* Non-hazardous liquid waste: put in labeled storage tools with a sealed lid.

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