Pharmaceuticals are now shown to be found in surface, ground, and drinking waters around the world. This could create some potentially damaging environmental effects. Minuscule concentrations of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, often found in pharmaceuticals, are having detrimental effects on aquatic animals and possibly on human health and development.
Incineration in specialised medical incinerators is the recommended process suggested by most health and monitoring organisations (e.g. WHO, DEA, UN). It is seen as the best way to destroy intravenous (IV) preparations, partially used vials, syringes, and IVs, discontinued, unused preparations, unused unit dose repacks, patients’ personal medications and outdated pharmaceuticals All waste should be segregated appropriately BEFORE it is incinerated to ensure you comply to local guidelines.
Frequently used pharmaceuticals, such as physostigmine, warfarin, and nine chemotherapeutic agents (see below), are regulated as hazardous waste in most countries and bottom ash should be disposed into a recognised hazardous waste facility.
Trace Chemotherapy Agents
Incineration is still seen as the preferred process for the safe destruction of these materials. See our page on hazardous waste for more information.
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