Indoor Chemical Contaminant Reduction: Laboratories Health Issues
The health of building occupants and the health of the local ecosystem can be directly impacted by the chemicals and materials selected for use in clinical and facility operations. Chemical hazards and toxic materials of concern found within the health care environment include heavy metals like mercury, lead, silver and cadmium; sterilants; disinfectants and cleaning products; pesticides; laboratory solvents; laboratory fixatives and stains; and hazardous pharmaceuticals; among others. Some of these are classified as hazardous waste and some are not. It is incumbent upon the health care facility to develop and implement a protocol for the handling, management and disposal of chemical and material hazards to protect the health of patients, staff and the community.
UCMC’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Policy was created to ensure that hazardous materials and wastes are identified, handled, stored and disposed of properly. For example, the Materials Management office must notify the Safety Office before approving purchase requests of mercury or mercury containing equipment.