Medical waste from COVID-19 pandemic—A systematic review of management and environmental impacts in Australia_CQU.pdf (1.13 MB)
Medical waste from COVID-19 pandemic—A systematic review of management and environmental impacts in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-27, 01:27 authored by Lynda AndeobuLynda Andeobu, Santoso WibowoSantoso Wibowo, Srimannarayana GrandhiSrimannarayana Grandhi
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a global medical emergency. The unforeseen occurrence of a pandemic of this magnitude has resulted in overwhelming levels of medical waste and raises questions about management and disposal practices, and environmental impacts. The amount of medical waste generated from COVID-19 since the outbreak is estimated to be 2.6 million tons/day worldwide. In Australia, heaps of single-use gowns, facemasks/face shields, aprons, gloves, goggles, sanitizers, sharps, and syringes are disposed everyday as a result of the pan-demic. Moreover, the establishment of new home/hotel quarantine facilities and isolation/quarantine centres in various Australian states and territories have increased the risks of transmission among people in these facilities and the likelihoods of general waste becoming contaminated with medical waste. This warrants the need to examine management and disposal practices implemented to reduce the transmission and spread of the virus. This study reviews the various management and disposal practices adopted in Australia for dealing with medical waste from the COVID-19 pandemic and their impacts on public health and the environment. To achieve the aims of this study, prior studies from 2019–2021 from various databases are collected and analysed. The study focuses on generation of medical waste from COVID-19, management and disposal methods, current problems/challenges and environmental and public health impacts. Considering the enormous risks involved and the significance of appropriate handling and disposal of medical waste from COVID-19, this study provides insights on short and long term responses towards managing COVID-19 waste in Australia. The study contributes to Australia’s efforts against the transmission and spread of COVID-19 and provides recommendations for the development of workable and sustainable strategies for mitigating similar pandemics in the future.
Number of Pages25
Publisher LicenseCC BY
Full Text URL
Additional RightsCC BY 4.0