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EPA, Hawai'i DOH, medical partners hold health care pollution prevention workshop

Release Date: 7/8/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Hawai'i Department of Health and Hawai'i hospital and medical association partners are sponsoring a pollution prevention workshop for the healthcare industry July 8-9 at the Honolulu Shriners Hospital on Oahu.

The workshop seeks to help healthcare facilities to reduce their environmental impacts while saving money and maintaining high standards of patient care.

"It makes sense for hospitals and healthcare facilities to make use of the many pollution prevention techniques and solutions available," said Eileen Sheehan, pollution prevention coordinator for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "With the high cost of medical waste disposal and the need to provide quality care for patients, hospitals can easily save money and provide quality service by implementing the concepts presented in this workshop."

Sheehan is part of a team of experts from the EPA , local regulatory agencies and local hospitals presenting real-life experiences, practical technical information, and useful tools to help implement pollution prevent strategies at healthcare facilities

Some of the key topics covered in the workshop:

-Mercury elimination
-Environmentally preferable purchasing
-Green building
-Microfiber mops
-Minimizing use of chemical sterilizers
-Pharmaceutical waste disposal
-Mold prevention and cleanup
-Energy efficiency
-Environmental compliance

Day one of the workshop targets clinical and safety staff, including environmental health and safety staff, nurses and infection control staff. Day two's presentations are tailored to facilities and operations staff, including environmental services and maintenance and engineering staff.

The workshop is sponsored in partnership with Shriners Hospital, Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawai'i Hospital Association, Hawai'i Nurses Association, Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses, Kapi'olani Health, Kaiser Permanente, Queen's Medical Center and the Hawai'i Department of Health.