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Pollution Prevention at NH Healthcare Facilities

Organization(s) New Hampshire Dept. of Environmental Services
New Hampshire Hospitals for a Healthy Environment
Project Description NHPPP has formed a close working relationship with the NH Hospitals for a Healthy Environment in order to provide infomation on reducing the volume and toxicity of wastes, including mercury, red bag waste, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic waste, from hospitals.

As an expansion of the successful P2 progress made at NH hospitals, NHPPP has expanded its outreach to other healthcare facilties including speciality hospitals, extended care facilities, mental health clinics, medical clinics, the Visiting Nurses Association, and hospice care.

A meeting in summer 2003 focused on micro-fiber mop technologies as a way to decrease chemical use and conserve water at hospitals. The December 2003 meeting focused on pharmaceutical, chemotherapy, and medical waste disposal and reduction opportunities.

A Small Quantity Generator Training was offered in June 2004. The training covered the general rules associated with being a hazardous waste generator, such as storage and labeling, but also covered healthcare-specific guidelines on managing epinephrine, a P-listed waste, and unused chemotherapy formulations in IV bags.

The home care initiative is underway. DES surveyed New Hampshire home care agencies and clinical staff to determine current mercury use and management procedures. The survey illustrated that those home care agencies that responded to the survey do not use mercury-containing blood pressure cuffs or mercury-containing fever thermometers. Unfortunately, on the other side of the coin, only 25 percent are recycling fluorescent bulbs correctly, and only 30 percent of home care agencies have mercury spill procedure training or policies. NHPPP will continue to conduct outreach to this sector by encouraging them to participate in the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment program and to provide publications to their clients on the New Hampshire fish advisory and mercury spill procedures.

In February 2004, NHPPP provided an informational workshop for DES employees on Pollution Prevention at Healthcare Facilities. Provided as part of the DES strategic plan, the training focused on healthcare projects at hospital and dental offices and home health care facilities and how P2 can be applied to each organization. The audience consisted of representatives from regulatory programs, outreach staff, and program managers.

Through these efforts new documents were added to the NHPPP web site addressing issues of importance to the healthcare sector: Infectious Waste Fact Sheet, Management and Disposal Guidelines for U-Listed Antineoplastic (Chemotherapy) Wastes, and Characteristic (D Coded) Waste Management and Disposal Guidelines.

More Info www.des.nh.gov/nhppp/Healthcare_P2/PListGuidelines.pdf
Project Contact
Name Sara Johnson
Phone 603-271-6460
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Environmental Management Systems
Industrial Sectors Health Care and Hospitals
Activity Keywords New publication, Training/workshops, Website updates
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 14 No. 1, Spring 2004


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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