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Home arrow Health arrow Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
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Water Pollution

Healthcare facilities discharge their wastewater directly into publicly owned treatment works. Therefore, if chemicals or highly infectious wastes are dumped into toilets, they end up at the treatment facility and may be partially treated or not treated before they enter the waters of the United States.

Best Practices in Water Pollution

  • • Wastewater containing oils, hydraulic fluid, or chemical spills must be cleaned up, trapped, and treated instead of being released into the public sewage systems.
  • • Stormwater which includes runoff from buildings, lawns, parking areas, storage tanks, or disturbed soils, must follow the Best Practices identified in Chapter 14, “Water Quality and Water Pollution.”

Best Practices in External Pollution Prevention

  • • Conduct a baseline study to determine the amount and type of pollutants going into the air, water, and land from the institution.
  • • Develop an environmental management system to review and apply necessary preventive and corrective actions to solid waste disposal, especially hazardous waste from the institution.
  • • Develop and enforce a strict waste segregation system where biohazardous waste, chemical waste, and radioactive waste is placed in specially marked containers and handled according to the current rules and regulations of the EPA and OSHA.
  • • Substitute less toxic or less polluting products for more toxic or more polluting products. Examples would be purchasing non-mercury-containing products for all departments of the institution, and substitution of microfiber mops for usual mops to reduce the amount of water, cleaner, disinfectant, and chemical storage space needed, etc.
  • • Change the process from imaging to digital imaging thereby avoiding use of x-ray films with silver on them.
  • • Use recycling for all paper wastes, aluminum and plastic wastes, durable furniture, equipment, pallets, etc.
  • • Reuse packing materials such as foam peanuts, foam inserts, airbag inserts, or other types of packaging instead of disposal.
  • • Recycle as much of construction and demolition waste as possible by separating out the metals, bricks, good pieces of wood, old equipment, etc. and determine if these can be used in other areas or sold.
 
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