HCWH Europe Newsletter: Leading the Way at Skâne University Hospital

 Health Care Without Harm Global Projects
In this issue
Member Profile:  Skâne University Hospital in Sweden
Events:  Conference on Children's Health and the Environment and more....
Chemicals in Focus: Proposal on mercury waste storage and more...
New Publications: New Journal: Clinical Health Promotion and more...
New Research: Chemicals may be altering breast development.
HCWH News: Staffs Updates
What Are They Doing at Skâne University Hospital in Sweden?
What are they doing at Skâne University Hospital in Sweden?
HCWH Europe member Skâne University Hospital is a fantastic example of what some courageous, motivated people can change. We visited the hospital and interviewed Lasse Bengtsson, Environmental Coordinator. Find out how they destroy laughing gas, phase out PVCs, buy 100% renewable energy and encourage staff to cycle to work...and at work! The hospital has a system of underground tunnels people, deliveries and waste can all move around underground. That means cycling in scrubs! – see the photo.
Latvia: Impact of Environmental Factors on Health

Date: 25-27 July 2011
Environmental Health Risk 2001
An exchange of information on diverse aspects of the impact of environmental factors on health.
Main topics include: Epidemiological studies and pandemics, Toxicology analysis, Ecology and health, Waste disposal, Climate change and adaptation, Educational projects and more.
Papers are invited on the topics. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted as soon as possible.
Organisers: Wessex Institute of Technology, UK
More info
Poland: Children's Health and the Environment

Date: 14-16 November 2011
6th International Conference on Children’s Health and the Environment
Main topics include: latest research findings in children’s environmental health; relationship between environmental contaminants and children's health; strengthen the importance of prenatal exposure to environmental factors on pregnancy outcome and children's health
All participants are invited to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation during the conference. See the list of abstract topics. Deadline for submission: 16th September.
Who should attend: Health professionals, scientists and policy makers with a special interest in children's environmental health; leaders from the private sector, NGOs and community organisations, and all levels of government.
Organisers: International Network on Children’s Health Environment and Safety (INCHES), WHO Regional Office in Poland, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (NIOM), Polish-Norwegian Research Programme.
Registration form
Austria: European Health Forum

Date: 5-8 October
Innovation & Wellbeing - Europe's Health in 2020
This is Europe's leading health policy conference. Confirmed speakers include Alois Stöger, Minister of Health, Austria; Ministers of Health from Denmark, Austria and Poland, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe and Director General of DC SANCO.
Main topics include: Active & healthy ageing, non-communicable diseases, future of medicine, Health2020, social innovation and HTA.
Organisers: European Health Forum
More info
Berlin: Environment and Public Health Annual Meeting

Date: 7-9 November 2011
Annual Meeting of the Environment and Public Health
Main topics include: Disease and environment, foetal and early childhood development, indoor air quality and pollution, (nano) particles, health and disease.
Call for papers: Deadline 15th September. Call for abstracts/poster: Deadline 1st October.
More info
Sweden: CleanMed 2012

Date: 26-28 September 2012
This is Europe’s leading conference on sustainable health care from Health Care Without Harm. Although 15 months seems far ahead to be planning, please mark your calendars as this is absolutely not to be missed. We welcome all HCWH members, partners, contacts and those interested in improving the health care sector’s environmental impact.
Organisers: HCWH Europe, TEM Foundation, Region Skåne
More info
Chemicals in Focus
EU PVC Industry Sets New Recycling Targets
EU PVC industry sets new recycling targets
The PVC industry have launched a new set of voluntary commitments pledging to triple PVC recycling by 2020 and introduce a certification scheme for "sustainably produced" goods. The Vinyl+ initiative aims to recycle 800,000 tonnes of PVC annually by 2020, 100,000t/year of which must be treated using innovative technologies addressing hard-to-recycle products. This would amount to a third of all PVC waste.  more  
Join the Proposal on Mercury Waste Storage From the EU
Proposal on mercury waste storage from the EU
The European Commission has submitted a legislative proposal on the temporary storage of mercury waste. Following a consultation last year, it was decided that further studies were needed regarding permanent storage. An EU consultancy report published last year concluded that salt mines are the most cost-effective location for permanent storage. The commission says it will come back to the issue "as soon as the [scientific] knowledge has improved".

Rules on mercury waste storage are needed since a ban on exports entered force on 15 March.  more
New Publications
New Report on Low Carbon Buildings in the Health Care Sector
New Report on Low Carbon Buildings in the Health Care Sector
The Low Carbon Building Network has just launched a State of the Art report on Low Carbon Buildings in the Health Care Sector. This forward thinking report gives some examples of our European members (KAV) Austria, Stockholm County Council Sweden and many more. The European Health Property Network (EuHPN), and LCB-HEALTHCARE are organising a joint conference in 12-14 October 2011 in Bologna so this should be the next stop for all interested in planning and designing healthcare buildings.
Lay Language Summaries of Blood Pressure and Mercury Sphygmomanometers
New plain language summary explaining the details of sphygmomanometers. This answers useful questions about their accuracy and what other alternatives there are for measuring blood pressure.  more
New 2010 Activities Report from the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit - Murcia
Located in Southern Spain, the PEHSU-Murcia is an active member of HCWH Europe and carry out fantastic work such as:
  • A training course given to medical students: Evolution and adaptation of the human organism to the environment
  • Increasing the numbers of women breast feeding (in 2010 50% of children in west Murcia continued taking breast milk at 6 months)
  • Environmental and Reproductive Health Consultation: The aim is to eliminate defects and disorders associated with exposure to environmental toxicants in a comprehensive framework to create healthier environments from pre-conceptional stage until the end of lactation. Special attention is given to neurotoxic substances and drugs, helping to improve the neurological development of children in the region.
Read the report. Please note apart from a short introduction in English, the document is only available in Spanish but if you are interested please contact Susie Kinghan from HCWH for more information in English.  
The Environment is good for our Health
A new report from the by the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) says the health benefits of merely living close to a green space are worth up to £300 per person per year. The NEA report claims that the UK's parks, lakes, forests and wildlife are worth billions of pounds to the economy and that their health benefits are particularly important.
WHO Releases Technical Guidance on Substituting Mercury Thermometers and Sphygmomanometers
WHO Releases Technical Guidance on Substituting Mercury Thermometers and Sphygmomanometers
WHO has issued a Technical Guidance Document for the safe substitution of non-mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in health-care settings. It identifies available resources that support the equivalent accuracy and comparable clinical utility of the substituted products, while protecting health-care workers and the environment. It is designed to support professionals responsible for institutions or ministries desiring to switch to safer non-polluting technologies in health care.  Read the document
First Aid for Hospital Food
Soil Association (UK) release a new report showing that several hospitals are able to source fresh, local and organic food with no impact on cost. “We want to see caterers cooking real meals with real ingredients – fresh, whole ingredients sourced from local and organic farmers.” For example, the Royal Brompton Hospital caters for 295 beds and 1,300 staff and cooks all food fresh on the premises. It found sourcing from smaller, local suppliers did not increase costs.  Read the report
5 to survive series by the NHS Sustainability Development Unit
Short accessible guides aiming to help different NHS professional groups to understand the role-specific opportunities, responsibilities and actions that they need to take to ensure the resilience and sustainability of the health system.

"5 to survive" is available for GPs, Junior Doctors, Human Resources, Health Care, Nursing and Finance and Estates. Action-orientated with 5 easy things to do to reduce our carbon footprint.
New Journal: Clinical Health Promotion – Research and Best Practice for Patients, Staff and Community
First issue of the Official Journal from the International Health Promoting Hospitals Network. more
New Research
Scientists Warn That Chemicals May be Altering Breast Development
Scientists Warn That Chemicals May be Altering Breast Development
Exposure to chemicals early in life may alter how breast tissue develops and raise the risks of breast cancer and lactation problems later in life, scientists concluded in a new set of reports from the USA. The scientists are urging federal officials to add new tests for industrial chemicals and pesticides to identify ones that might disrupt breast development.  more
WHO: Cell Phone Use Can Increase Possible Cancer Risk
Infection Ecology and Epidemiology Network
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) (including those caused by mobile phones) as possibly carcinogenic to humans. 30 scientists from 14 countries met in May, to discuss the evidence surrounding RF-EMF and cancer. The WHO, had previously assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established, now support the IARC's findings.  more
What Have We Been Doing at HCWH Europe?
Anja Leetz
In May I was in Oslo for a meeting with the Low Carbon Building – Healthcare network. We visited the New Akershus University Hospital which in 2009 won the Building Better Healthcare Award for Best International Design. This inspiring hospital is an outstanding example of what modern designs can achieve. Read my blog piece about the trip...
Susie Kinghan
Susie Kinghan
In May I visited some HCWH members in Denmark (the Ecological Council) and Sweden (TEM Foundation www.tem.se and Skâne University Hospital). You can read my blog piece for more information about the trip.

Skâne University Hospital is a fantastic example of brave people realising ambitious work. Read the article about their work.

TEM Foundation are organising CleanMed Europe in 2012 (which will take place in Malmo, Southern Sweden).

I've been trying to learn more about what our members are doing and in July will be meeting our London-based membership. I’m also building up case studies on hospitals working on sustainability and will visit the UZ Leuven University Hospital in Belgium. Please get in contact if you have suggestion for a hospital working on environmental issues.
Pendo Maro
Pendo Maro
I have been campaigning hard in the EU Parliament for Europe to raise its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to 30% by 2020. Speaking to health-interested Members of the European Parliament, I explained the benefits of lower emissions to people’s health – reducing the burden on Europe’s hospitals. Unfortunately the vote the move to 30% has not found a majority in the EU Parliament. This means that Heads of States need to show political leadership to protect public health. We are still looking for engaged health professionals who can explain to policy makers, the public and the media the interlinkage about health impacts and climate change. If you are interested to be involved in our climate and energy work please get in touch.

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