23.4.3  Chemical or high-level disinfection (HLD)

Chemical disinfection, also known as high-level disinfection (HLD), is the preferred treatment for liquid infectious wastes. It can also be used for solid infectious waste treatment. The chemical disinfectants are hazardous to skin and mucous membranes, and it should not be applied without wearing gloves and goggles. Chlorine and glutaraldehyde are the best chemical disinfectants; the most appropriate being 0.5% chlorine solution for 10 minutes. The ultimate disposal of chemical waste must safeguard users, the community and the environment. It should be disposed of into a seepage pit and the bottom of the pit should be not less than 3 m from the water table in order to prevent contamination of the groundwater.

Training on handling techniques of chemical disinfection should be provided for persons involved in healthcare waste treatment to minimise personal exposure of hazards and handling of sterilised materials.

23.4.2  Incineration

23.4.4  Final disposal: burial pits