Pressure group sets itself against pyrolysis

Representatives of the pressure group Health Care Without Harm have set themselves against pyrolysis for clinical (medical) wastes, and probably for anything else too.

Environment and health advocates – their own description for the political pressure group HCWH – on Wednesday called on the Department of Health to remove pyrolysis from its revised Health Care Waste Management (HCWM) Manual. Pyrolysis is listed in the manual as an option for dealing with medical waste, in violation of the spirit and intent of the Clean Air Act of 1999.

“We do not want to mislead healthcare workers and the public into thinking that pyrolysis is a clean technology that can be used to manage medical waste,” said Director of Health Care Without Harm-Southeast Asia (HCWH-SEA) Merci Ferrer in a press release.
According to HCWH, the DOH will be distributing the manual, which serves as a bible for all hospitals when it comes to waste management.
Pyrolysis is a much abused term and some advanced UK incineration technologies are dressed up as pyrolysis without the technology complying with the more widely understood advanced technology. That does not help. But the ‘anti’ brigade will not differentiate and wish to ban pyrolysis of clinical wastes out of hand, substituting instead any of the ATT processes. That may please some in the marketplace, but any outright ban is likely only to create difficulties while reducing flexibility, taking away different treatment technologies that might be applicable to specific waste fractions or for use in different circumstances.
In this, I have to sit with the regulators who should take a wider – and even-handed – view to the licensing of a range of treatment technologies. Take this latest nonsense from HCWH with a pinch of salt.

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