Bay Area Hospitals Cut Waste With Eco-Friendly Efforts
Bay Area medical facilities are transforming their centers to save energy, cut waste, reduce pollution and decrease the spread of infections, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
Some medical centers' environment-friendly efforts are highlighted below.
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center's Oakland and Berkeley campuses have begun using flexible intravenous bags that do not contain polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which causes health risks.
- California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has initiated a recycling and composting program.
- John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek is using aluminum containers to store surgical instruments, rather than plastic packaging, to reduce landfill waste, according to medical center spokesperson Deniene Erickson.
- Kaiser Permanente tasked manufacturer Collins & Aikman with creating an alternative carpet that does not allow liquids to soak through to the floor and does not contain PVC.
- UC-San Francisco Medical Center is using non-toxic cleaning chemicals and energy-efficient fluorescent lighting, as well as thermometers and blood pressure devices that do not contain mercury.
A study by the Health Technology Center, a not-for-profit research and education organization, found the changes can lower energy costs and create environments less prone to spreading infection. The study found that motion-activated lighting and faucets can help reduce new infections and lower the $5.3 billion annually that the facilities spend on energy (Chandler, San Francisco Business Times, 10/22). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.