beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Reduce Environmental Hazards

Our goal is to reduce environmental hazards where viable alternatives exist.

Steps already taken

Styrofoam Elimination

BIDMC is committed to being a styrofoam-free hospital by the end of FY14:

  • Replaced cafeteria styrofoam with compostables
  • Replaced patient floor cold cups with plastic cups
  • Replaced patient floor hot cups with reusable mugs 

Green Cleaning Techniques 

Environmental Services has changed several cleaning procedures to reduce the amount of chemicals used and sent to the waste stream:

  • Replaced glass and general cleaners with greener versions
  • Converted to micro fiber mops on the West campus, reducing the amount of cleaning chemicals used
  • Switched to floor scrubbing machines that use an electrolyzed water process to clean without chemicals
  • Switched to a floor strip machine that eliminates the use of harsh stripper chemicals
  • Switched to a closed container to apply floor finish with a flat mop process. This process helps with indoor air quality, it is dispensed in a collapsible container that takes up less space in landfills and reduces wasted floor finish that would otherwise end up in the waste stream.

Mercury Elimination

BIDMC is committed to the elimination of mercury, where possible:

  • We have replaced all mobile and wall-mounted mercury manometers and blood pressure cuffs
  • All research and clinical equipment has been inventoried for mercury content

Removing Toxic Chemicals From our Research Labs

Many of the chemicals traditionally used by biomedical research labs in search of new cures or a better understanding of current diseases are so toxic that they pose a threat to both the researchers and the larger community.  Therefore, it would be preferable if it were possible to conduct the same experiments using less toxic options:

  • Received an EPA grant in partnership with Simmons College and Beyond Benign to build a wiki that allows researchers to share viable chemical substitution options.

Reducing Drug Waste

Because drug waste ends up in our water or air, BIDMC is committed to minimizing drug waste, where possible:

  • We have replaced our 5 most commonly wasted handmade compounds with premade compounds to reduce waste by 90%
  • We identified 1400 bottles of  under used drugs that could be shared across campuses to minimize waste 
  • We safely dispose of all medicine left behind by patients during federally approved Drug Takeback Days.

Contact Information

Elise Vergnano
Sustainability Program Manager
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Phone: 617-667-1627