To minimize our impact on human and environmental health, Fairview is always looking for ways to reduce our consumption of toxic materials—while educating our staff about proper disposal methods for toxic and hazardous waste.
Reducing toxic waste
We strive to not use any medical supplies or products that contain Bisphenol A (BPA).
Ethylene Oxide (EtO) is used to sterilize heat- and moisture-sensitive surgical instruments that may come into contact with patients. Due to health impacts after prolonged exposure, we use "100 percent EtO cartridges," when possible, an alternative product that uses less EtO than traditional sterilization methods.
Lab-solvent distillation and recycling
All hospitals that use formalin, xylene and alcohol also have machines that distill and recycle these chemicals. This keeps toxic chemicals out of our environment, and we can recycle these chemicals to be reused.
To provide for a safe environment for patients, visitors and staff with or at risk for latex allergies, we are a latex-free environment and purchase products containing latex only when a suitable alternative is not available.
We use glass and general purpose cleaners that are Green Seal-certified while our carpet extraction cleaner meets the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval. Many of our facilities also use chemical-free floor buffers.
In new building projects, touch-ups and renovations, we use many low-toxicity finishes such as low-VOC paint and low-toxicity flooring.
All our hospitals and clinics have been mercury-free since 2011. In 2007, University of Minnesota Medical Center received an award for “Making Medicine Mercury-Free” from Healthcare Without Harm.
Toxic Substances Control Act
In 2011, Fairview joined other health care organizations to show our support for a "strengthened chemical reformulary system that protects human and environmental health."
The letter requests that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) should take action against the worst chemicals, disclose all basic information on all chemicals, ensure chemical manufactures demonstrate safe products and promote safer alternatives. Learn more about Fairview's role in the TSCA policy reform in this webinar.
Safer chemicals, healthy families
Fairview has served on the Healthcare Advisors Workgroup for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families since 2011.
Hazardous waste training
We train our staff in hazardous waste personal protection and appropriate disposal methods.
Successfully reducing hazardous waste
Fairview Southdale Hospital’s Radiology Department reduced its hazardous waste by 205 pounds a week in an initiative now spreading to other radiology departments within Fairview.
Fairview Lakes Medical Center reduced its hazardous waste by 3,300 pounds through staff education, improved labeling and revised collection practices.