(17) Final Medical Waste Incinerator
Rule Faces Mid-1997 Deadline Under Settlement, Daily Env't Rep.
Since no one had studied whether the tiny amounts of dioxin, mercury, and other pollutants released from medical waste incinerators
represent a truly significant health hazard, it was not clear that the new regulations would make a measurable difference in air quality.
Cooper (June 1992), "Air pollution emission factors for medical waste incinerators
" J of Air Waste and Manage Assoc 42(6).
Last year, the EPA proposed new standards for large municipal waste burners and this year the agency is setting its sights on medical waste incinerators
Early next month, the board is to decide whether to issue $5.5 million in bonds for a commercial medical waste incinerator
environmentalists asked in April if the Ministry was concerned about the mounting scientific evidence identifying medical waste incinerators
as among the largest sources of extremely toxic dioxin into the environment.
The problem is that Curtis Bay already hosts a 200-acre coal pier that produces black dust that collects on local streets and drifts inside windows, a fertilizer plant reeking of fresh manure, one of the nation's largest medical waste incinerators
, chemical plants, fuel depots, and an open-air composting site.
Infectious agents can remain in the ash or be released from the stack of medical waste incinerators
.8-10 Dioxins and furans can be formed by burning polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
In response to the Inspector General report, the agency offers some hope: "[We] agree that much remains to be done to ensure healthy, clean air for all Americans, particularly those living in urban areas where emission sources can be more concentrated and those living in communities near facilities emitting [hazardous air pollutants]." And the agency is not offering just words; it already has rescinded some of the more egregious loopholes on which the Bush administration misspent the taxpayers' resources, and it has taken new steps to control some of the worst toxic polluters, such as cement kilns and medical waste incinerators
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed tougher air pollution standards for medical waste incinerators
, which environmental groups said have been among the country's worst emitters of mercury and dioxins.
Mercury is an environmental contaminant that originates from man-made sources, such as coal-burning power plants and medical waste incinerators
, and then enters local waterways and hence into the ocean, where it accumulates in fatty fish.
However, since there are currently no medical waste incinerators
in Colorado, non-hazardous drugs may be stabilized prior to landfill disposal.