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September 28, 2006

Magee-Womens earns environmental recognition

Magee-Womens Hospital has received national recognition for its environmental efforts from Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, an organization founded jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Hospital and American Nurses associations and Health Care Without Harm.

Magee received the “Making Medicine Mercury Free” award, a one-time citation for hospitals that have met the challenge of nearly eliminating mercury from their facilities. A potent neurological and developmental toxin, mercury can impact human health at extremely low levels. Hospitals can be a major contributor to mercury air emissions, and hospitals that receive this recognition must meet stringent benchmarks for mercury elimination.

Among other guidelines, hospitals that achieve the “mercury free” distinction must:

* Establish a mercury-management policy that includes protocols for safe handling, spill cleaning and disposal procedures, education and training of employees and a process to review mercury use reduction and elimination;

* Replace all patient mercury thermometers;

* Replace at least 75 percent of mercury-containing blood pressure cuffs with a phase-out plan for total elimination;

* Recycle fluorescent lamps, and

* Implement battery collection programs for recycling.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 39 Issue 3

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