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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

CUSSIOL, Noil Amorim de Menezes; ROCHA, Gustavo Henrique Tetzl  and  LANGE, Liséte Celina. Gravimetric characterization of potentially infectious material in urban solid waste in southern Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.6, pp. 1183-1191. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006000600007.

This study investigated potentially infectious waste (feces, urine, blood, body fluids) in the composition of total municipal solid waste. From August to September 2002, solid waste samples from southern Belo Horizonte, capital of the State of Minas Gerais, were collected and sent to the solid waste treatment and disposal site at BR-040 for segregation and quantification. Sharps (objects that can cause cuts or puncture wounds) made up 0.02±0.02% of the collected waste, while non-sharps accounted for 5.47±1.11%. In the sharps category, the majority were razor blades (0.01±0.01%), while among non-sharps the most frequent components were toilet paper (3.00±0.90%), diapers (2.21±1.08%), and sanitary napkins (0.22±0.12%). Household infectious waste was twice the total amount of waste (infectious + common) from healthcare units. The study was discussed in light of the health hazards and safety aspects for formal and informal waste collectors.

Keywords : Medical Waste; Domestic Wastes; Solid Wastes.

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