Health programs during a crisis involve chemicals and medical and hazardous wastes which if not addressed can have life-threatening consequences for entire communities.  Chemicals and waste if not properly disposed may pollute water, soil or livelihoods.   Human health is inextricably linked to a clean and sustainable environment when it comes to spreading of diseases, soil and water contamination and safe food.

GuidelinesBack to top


Health Cluster Guide (IASC & WHO 2009)

Cross-cutting issue checklists to ensure issues are included and addressed in programmes, plans and strategies. Environment has 3 checklist items related to protecting environment and natural resource base and unnecessary waste, p 131.



Management of Solid Health-Care Waste at Primary Health-Care Centres:
A Decision-Making Guide (WHO 2005)

Guidance explains human and environmental risks of not adequately handling waste and offers checklists, pros and cons to different methods of disposal and waste management.



Four Steps for the Sound Management of Health-Care Waste in Emergencies

Brochure outlines public health risks of waste, identifies groups at risk and warns of environmental concerns in dealing with waste.

ToolsBack to top


Health Resources Availability Mapping System – HeRAMS (Health Cluster)

Tool used during relief and recovery to collect health sector information on partners, facilities, staff and services.  A few questions relate to waste management and environmental health.



Acute Chemical Incidents: Basic Checklist (Health Protection Agency)

List includes questions that should be asked in order to understand the nature and scope of the incident with a recommendation section on how to handle the situation.



Non-Domestic Fire Checklist (Health Protection Agency)

Easy checklist that covers environmental and health impacts of non-domestic fires.  Includes section on clean up and further resources.



Products of Combustion (Health Protection Agency)

Guidance on different chemicals and products, how to handle and dispose of damaged items, and the impacts on health.

ResourcesBack to top


Healthcare Waste Management (WHO)

In-depth database of resources on training, management, costing and technologies related to healthcare waste, categorized by theme, global to local level and type of healthcare facility.  Materials include, among other resources, longer guides and shorter checklists.