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Healthier Environmental Design for Disposal of Medical Waste

Washington— Health Care Without Harm announced the winners of its international contest for innovative non-incineration technologies to treat medical waste in developing areas. The winning conceptual designs were revealed as the international community observed World Health Day 2003 and the theme of "Healthy Environments for Children".

"These technologies provide a solution to a problem faced by many poor rural communities, which are burning medical waste and polluting the air with dioxin, mercury and other toxins because they lack access to affordable alternative technologies that are available in industrialized countries," said Gary Cohen, director of Health Care Without Harm, an international campaign to reduce the environmental impact of health care (www.noharm.org).

First place and $5,000 went to the team of Rys Hardwick-Jones of the University of Sydney, Australia, for a solar-powered autoclave system named Prometheus, which is portable and can be used in any weather condition. Second place and $1,500 went to M.G. Holliday of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, United Kingdom, for a simple system that combines mechanical grinding with boiling water to treat medical waste. Third place and $1,000 was awarded to the team of Prof. Mark Bricka and Allissa Willis of Mississippi State University, U.S. for a proposal to treat waste through the heat generated by a chemical reaction involving lime and subsequent hardening of the waste into a cement-like material.






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