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While calling for the cancellation of the incinerator loan in the Philippines, HCWH-Asia have been proposing for the redirection of debt payments to fund the improvement of local health services instead.  This is aligned with the country’s Millennium Development Goals.

While calling for the cancellation of the incinerator loan in the Philippines, HCWH-Asia have been proposing for the redirection of debt payments to fund the improvement of local health services instead. This is aligned with the country’s Millennium Development Goals.

First, Do No Harm (Photo by HCWH/Faye Ferrer)

First, Do No Harm (Photo by HCWH/Faye Ferrer)

The Philippines has proven that it's possible to eliminate incineration altogether.  In main cities, infectious waste is dealt with by centralized facilities running steam based technologies such as autoclaves or microwaves.

The Philippines has proven that it's possible to eliminate incineration altogether. In main cities, infectious waste is dealt with by centralized facilities running steam based technologies such as autoclaves or microwaves.

Several cities and countries around the globe have made the right choice to BURN NOT.

Several cities and countries around the globe have made the right choice to BURN NOT.

Despite the dangers of incineration, many governments, public health agencies, international organizations and transnational corporations continue to promote incineration technologies as waste management "solutions."

Despite the dangers of incineration, many governments, public health agencies, international organizations and transnational corporations continue to promote incineration technologies as waste management "solutions."

Waste is unavoidable.  We need to provide options on how to manage refuse that inevitably gets produced by hospitals.  Incineration used to be the technology of choice, but we've learned that this process produces dioxins.

Waste is unavoidable. We need to provide options on how to manage refuse that inevitably gets produced by hospitals. Incineration used to be the technology of choice, but we've learned that this process produces dioxins.

Investing in polluting waste disposal systems can cause long-term damage to both the environment, and the economy.  Take, for example the 26 medical waste incinerators that were purchased by Philippines from Austria on a loan worth PHP 503,647,200.    The machines were shut down by the DOH in 2003, but the country is still allocating roughly USD 2m a year to pay for the loan connected with the failed project.  The last payment is due in 2014.

Investing in polluting waste disposal systems can cause long-term damage to both the environment, and the economy. Take, for example the 26 medical waste incinerators that were purchased by Philippines from Austria on a loan worth PHP 503,647,200. The machines were shut down by the DOH in 2003, but the country is still allocating roughly USD 2m a year to pay for the loan connected with the failed project. The last payment is due in 2014.

Most incinerators have few or no pollution control devices, and so will release large quantities of dioxin, which can then enter the food chain.

Most incinerators have few or no pollution control devices, and so will release large quantities of dioxin, which can then enter the food chain.

Incinerating waste can release carcinogens and some of the most toxic man-made compounds into the air, including neuro-toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic.

Incinerating waste can release carcinogens and some of the most toxic man-made compounds into the air, including neuro-toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic.

In the United States, a study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that medical waste incinerators produced 40% of the country's air dioxins.

In the United States, a study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that medical waste incinerators produced 40% of the country's air dioxins.

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