HCWH Europe Newsletter: The Implementation of Sustainable Healthcare

 Health Care Without Harm Global Projects
In this issue
Members Updates
Other News
Anja Leetz
Last week the 3rd CleanMed Europe conference was held in Malmö, Sweden, where 350 delegates from 34 countries and 5 continents discussed the transformation of health provision. The conference provided information, tools and contacts to speed up the implementation of sustainable healthcare. Keynotes and 16 parallel sessions, over 20 exhibitors and Green Tech Visits on either side of the conference and many social events, made this a memorable meeting. Exchange of ideas, contacts and information happened at all levels and we hope that this will lead to further collaboration among health systems in Europe and beyond. We are planning already CleanMed Europe 2013, so mark your calendars and follow us from 17-19th September 2013 to Oxford!
Best wishes,

Anja Leetz
Executive Director – HCWH Europe



Better flooring choice could reduce workers and patient's exposure to harmful chemicals

Health Care Without Harm Europe launched a new report: "Healthy & Sustainable Flooring, choosing resilient flooring for the European healthcare sector" in September 2012. The report will enable hospitals to make better choices, in the interest of their staff, patients and the environment. The report also shows that producers of flooring material need to continue research and development to produce more sustainable materials. more


Sustainability as a business approach

A new study: The growing importance of more sustainable products in the global health care industry commissioned Johnson&Johnson is a helpful guidance for procurement staff, executives administrators and providers of goods in the healthcare sector. more


Endocrine disrupters and child health

A new publication by the World Health Organization supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (US) summarizes the current knowledge of the effects of endocrine disrupters on child health. Currently, there is a limited knowledge on the association of human disorders with exposure to endocrine disrupters, but accumulating data suggests that many adult diseases have fetal origins. more

UNEP's global chemicals outlook

A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calls for coordinated action by government and industry to urgently reduce the growing risks to human health and the environment posed by the unsustainable management of chemicals worldwide. The new report highlights the major economic burden caused by chemical hazards, particularly in developing countries. more
More research needed on endocrine disrupters

A recent report from the European Environmental Agency (EEA), documents on the rise of research that indicates that rates of endocrine diseases and disorders have increased with the growth of chemical pollutants in the environment. In particular, chemicals with endocrine disrupting abilities (EDCs) are increasingly being related with reproductive and developmental problems in wildlife species and human populations. more
Autism related with exposure to flame-retardants

Scientists linked for the first time genetic, epigenetic and behavioral changes in mice exposed in the womb to a flame retardant chemical. A mother's exposure to a flame retardant before, during and after pregnancy could interfere with learning and memory skills and social behaviors of offspring. Rising concerns over the potential long-lived effects on human health of the widespread use of persistent flame-retardants. more
Phthalates and PFOS found in amniotic fluid

A new study detected low levels of three common chemicals, the phthalates DEHP and DiNP and the stain-resisting chemicals PFOS, in almost every sample collected from pregnant women. The results provide some of the best evidence to date of fetal exposures to phtalates and PFOS, measuring the contaminants directly in amniotic fluid. more
Members Update

"Call-for-Action" paper in the area of Nanomaterials

The Danish Ecological Council launched a "Call-for-Action" paper with suggestions for improvement and strengthening of the European chemicals legislation (with focus on REACH), in the area of Nanomaterials. Nanomaterials are currently not covered by any legislation, despite the fact that they impose risk of harm to humans and the environment. This is partly due to the fact that nanomaterials, because of their small size, often are marketed in a smaller amount than covered by the EU requirements for registration. more


C2DS Formation – V2010 Comment répondre aux 8 critères du développement durable

The C2DS is organizing in Paris two one day training sessions (26 October 2012 and 22 March 2013) to improve knowledge in sustainable development and how it can be taken in consideration in healthcare organisations. The session will cover the tools needed to develop an auto-diagnostic and present several field examples. Further information and registrations through courtigne.angelique@c2ds.eu

Brussels: European Waste and Resource Days

Date: 7-8 November 2012

Key topics: Innovative approaches for waste prevention, reuse and recycling by local and regional Authorities.

Who should attend?: Local or regional authorities dealing with waste policies, or stakeholders involved in waste and resource management. more
Melbourne: ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress – Equity and Access to Health Care

Date: 18-23 May 2013

Key topics: Bring together evidence, experience and innovations highlighting the critical importance of equity and access to health care for communities and individuals, demonstrating how nurses are key to ensuring equal access and quality of health care for all.

Who should attend?: Members of nursing associations, other health professionals, and members of the general public. more
NÎmes: Pharmaceutical Products in the Environment: Is there a problem?

Date: 3-4 June 2013

Key topics: Open the debate on the consequences of pharmaceutical products in the environment in terms of human and wildlife health, but also from a regulatory and financial perspective.

Who should attend?: Academics, policy makers, regulators and members of the industry. more
Case study on meat reduction in US hospitals
New HCWH Climate and Health News Service
The Healthy Food In Health Care programme of HCWH-US recently developed a case study report of several US hospitals reducing their meat or substituting for more sustainable meat. The report details the successes and challenges of public and private hospitals that demonstrated a preference for meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics, or have reduced the availability of meat-based options in their food service for environmental and health reasons. more
Launch of 'Innovation Procurement Leaders Group' to address the grand challenge of environmental sustainability in healthcare (EcoQUIP)
PPT on Climate Change and the Role of Healthcare Professionals
The European Commission is sponsoring the EcoQUIP project that aims to improve the efficiency, quality and environmental sustainability of healthcare through innovation procurement. Founding members of the Innovation Procurement Leaders Group will lead the project with other members derived from innovation procurement workshops. The collaborative procurement actions will focus on engagement with innovative businesses across Europe that can help hospitals address their common equipment needs. Any hospitals interested in joining the EcoQUIP Innovation Procurement Leaders Group can express interest via info@lowcarbon-healthcare.eu.
Call for experts on dental amalgam

The European Commission opened calls for experts on dental amalgam (for SCENIHR and SCHER) to update their opinions on dental amalgam on the basis of new information made available. Experts will be invited to contribute to the work of the corresponding Scientific Committee. The deadline for application is the 10th of October. SCENIHR call | SCHER call
Swedish proposal to ban bisphenol A in thermal paper

The Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) presented a proposal to the Swedish Government for a national ban on bisphenol A in thermal paper used, for example, in cash receipts and tickets. The report is the result of a government assignment and one step in the work for a toxic-free everyday environment. more
Calls for experts on medical devices containing nanomaterials

The Commission's independent Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) is looking for experts for its working group on the safety of medical devices containing nanomaterials. The deadline for application is the 1st of October. more
Denmark goes ahead with national register of products containing nanomaterials

The Danish government follows France in creating a national register of products containing nanomaterials. The register will help establish how widespread nanomaterials are and identify possible risks. A test version of the register should be available by next summer. The French programme was finalized in February and will begin in full by next year. Germany is also considering a nanomaterial register. more
Final report of the PILLS project

The EU project - Pharmaceutical Input and Elimination from Local Sources (PILLS) has published a summary in the four partner languages to give a brief overview of the work developed over the last five years on potential waste water treatment solutions to eliminate pharmaceuticals. A complete report is available via contacting the partners. more
Other News
Denmark bans four phthalates in consumer products

In the end of August, the Danish Minister of Environment introduced a national ban on four phthalates (DEHP, DBP and BBP DIBP) in consumer products, ahead of European Union plans. The ban does not include medical devices but it was shortly followed by a request from the Danish Consumer Council on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the Danish Ecological Council to the Minister of Health to ban phthalates in medical devices. Nowadays, phthalates in medical devices have to be labeled but this is of no use to most healthcare practitioners or patients, as they do not have access to the packages. more
Open letter to Environmental and Public Health Commissioners on the Danish phthalate dossier

HCWH with other eight European NGO's sent a letter to the Commissioners Janez Potocnik (DG ENV) and John Dalli (DG SANCO) urging them to take a decision on the restriction of the four phthalates (DEHP; DBP, BBP and DIBP). more

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