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Health Care

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "Hospitals make significant contributions to their communities by providing a wide variety of services. They are also major employers, with healthcare comprising approximately 16% of the national and regional economy. Hospitals operate all day everyday, making their environmental footprint large in many communities. Hospitals generate approximately 7,000 tons per day of waste, including infectious waste, hazardous waste, and solid waste. They use mercury in medical devices, equipment, light bulbs, etc. Also, using materials that may have toxic effects: PVC, DEHP, cleaning materials, heavy metals in electronics, pesticides, batteries." Because of the equipment necessary, health care facilities use large amounts of energy in buildings and car fleets, and generating significant greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, consuming large amounts of water for domestic use and heating/cooling as well as landscaping.

Sustainable Healthcare
The EPA provides information on sustainability in the healthcare field, including steps in reducing their environmental footprint.

Green Building

Building Healthy Hospitals: Top 5 Green Building Strategies for Healthcare
This summarizes the benefits and case study results for each of five green building strategies.

Green Products

EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment.

Hospital Sanitizers
A variety of public health products is used to control the different microorganisms infectious to humans. This section describes the breadth of products used based on their abilities to kill potentially hazardous microorganisms. Ethylene Oxide is included in the most potent of the product categories, sterilizers. Only one sterilizer is included under the "hospital sterilizer" category specified in the Clean Air Act section 112(c) regulating toxic air pollutants. This sterilizer is ethylene oxide or EtO.


EPA WaterSense- Hospitals
WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services.