Draft law proposes jail, fine

ABU DHABI — A referral law on disposal of hazardous medical waste has been drafted to protect people and the environment in Arab countries from the hazards of such waste, a senior official has revealed.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Thu 24 Feb 2005, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:36 PM

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the 10th meeting of the Advisory Technical Committee for Health Legislations of Arab Health Ministers of the Arab League that ended recently in the capital, Khalid Sharif Mohammed, Director of Legal Affairs Bureau at the UAE Ministry of Health, said that the 12-article law stipulates that violators would face jail sentences or fined according to the punishment set out by the law.

Elaborating on the proposed legislation, Khalid said the provisions of the law stipulate that facilities have to separate hazardous medical waste from other types of wastes, and the hazardous waste should be packed in cases or containers as specified by the executive statute.

Under the law, transaction or dealings with hazardous medical waste without due permit from the authorities concerned would be banned, he said, adding that the executive statute shall specify conditions and procedures for granting permits.

According to Khalid, the law also stipulates that hazardous medical waste shall be disposed of as per the conditions and criteria stipulated by the executive statute; and construction of any facility for the purpose of treating such waste would be banned unless sanctioned by authorities concerned. The law further states that transportation and disposal of such waste through land, marine and air shall be supervised as per regulations stipulated by the executive statute. It also stipulates that producers or dealers in this waste — whether in gaseous, liquid or solid forms — shall take necessary precautions to guarantee that the environment was not affected.

The law divides medical wastes into seven categories that could carry contagious, chemical or radioactive hazards requiring special procedures in handling and getting rid of them, said Khalid.

"This includes contagious waste that might contain germs, viruses, parasites, fungi, i.e., wound and burns bandages, germ colonies in bakeries and equipment used for blood testing," he said.

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