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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Pollution Prevention

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Hospital Pollution Prevention

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Hospital P2 Work and Resources in EPA Region 9

EPA Region 9 works with hospitals, tribes, state and local agencies, and non-governmental organizations to prevent pollution from hospitals.

Region 9's Hospital Pollution Prevention work includes developing tools and resources such as posters and fact sheets, and supporting training.

Fact Sheets

The fact sheets below provide complete environmental, technical and economic evaluations of key Pollution Prevention "fixes" for hospitals. Here are the four fact sheets:

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Adobe Reader.

  • Eliminating Mercury in Hospitals (PDF, 12 pp., 757 KB)
    Identifies where mercury is found in hospitals, how it be eliminated and cost savings. Explains why mercury should be eliminated
  • Using Microfiber Mops in Hospitals (PDF, 4 pp., 412 KB)
    Describes new mopping system and offers detailed case study and cost information for switching from conventional wet loop mops to microfiber mops for floor cleaning. Highlights the benefits including shorter cleaning times, reduced chemical and water use, and easier ergonomics
  • Reducing Ethylene Oxide and Glutaraldehyde (PDF, 4 pp., 364 K)
    Provides information on the hazards of EtO and glutaraldehyde, and alternatives to their use. Includes a detailed case study, and cost information to help your hospital evaluate making the switch
  • Reusable Totes, Blue Wrap Recycling, and Composting (PDF, 6 pp., 528 KB)
    Offers information on solid waste reduction opportunities including costs, savings, and implementation issues. Includes case studies of paper (including cardboard), plastics, and food waste, three of the largest components of hospitals' solid waste streams

Hard copies of these fact sheets can be obtained by calling (800) 490-9198. Ask for "The Pollution Prevention Tool Kit, Best Environmental Practices for Hospitals" (publication number EPA 909-E-02-001).

Know Where to Throw

Red Bag Poster and Sticker

The Contra Costa Health Department, Hazardous Materials Program, using EPA Region 9 grant funding developed this Poster titled "Know Where to Throw" focused on appropriate handling of red bag or medical waste. Putting materials into a red bag that can be recycled or disposed of in the solid wastestream is both costly and potentially hazardous to the environment. This poster is appropriate for California medical waste requirements.

Go to CalRecycle's "Red Bag (Biohazards) Waste" Web page  Exiting EPA (disclaimer) to order these posters.

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Hospital P2 and Mercury Reduction

Hospital P2 and Mercury Reduction Tools: With a Pollution Prevention grant from Region 9, the California Department of Health Services developed several useful tools that will help hospitals reduce their hazardous, medical and solid waste including:

Pollution Prevention for Healthcare Professionals

  • San Francisco Department of the Environment  Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
    From 2006 to 2008, SF Environment managed a health care pollution prevention project through a grant from the EPA. They organized workshops to educate local hospital staff on health care-specific environmental issues and facilitated discussions between health care professionals. Projects include a pharmaceutical waste fact sheet, janitorial and pesticide product assessment. See the link below for more information and presentations on this topic.

Training resources

For additional information about Region 9's hospital Pollution Prevention work, please contact Wendi Shafir (shafir.wendi@epa.gov).

More Hospital Waste Reduction Resources

General Resources

Resources for California

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