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Pollutants in Hospitals

Posted on October 02, 2013
by Susana Escamilla

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“Hospitals are twenty four hour living breathing environments.” Any work that is being done inside or around a hospital can affect the air inside. Whether that work is construction or renovations, the environment inside hospitals have to be a safe environment for the staff and most importantly for patients. Reducing air pollution inside increases ventilation in any healthcare environment and can create a comfortable environment for patients. According to the EPA, there are two pollutants, that can be found inside hospitals. The two pollutants are mercury and dioxin.

Where is mercury found in hospitals? Mercury is found thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats, and other products found in hospitals.

How does mercury get distributed in the air? Elemental mercury at room temperature can emit toxic vapors and can be absorbed through the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream. Mercury can also eventually be leaked into the outside air through ventilation systems, doors and other opening areas.

Dioxin is a carcinogen. Burning medical waste can produce dioxin. Another substance that pollutes the air in hospitals are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC can be found in hospital IV bags, surgical tubbing and other medical supplies. There are several ways to reduce the pollution of these two substances in hospitals. For instancing developing a plan to reduce items and medical supplies that contain PVC. Educate staff on the dangers of pollution in hospitals and in other healthcare facilities. Raise awareness of these substances and the dangers of mercury being exposed in the air. At AirTek we understand the importance of the health of everyone working in the healthcare industry. The company can provide a complete solution to indoor air quality. Contact us to learn more about the complete healthcare services that AirTek can provide for any healthcare facility.

(Source:epa.gov)

 

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