Guidance Documents - Strategies for Minimizing Mercury Wastes and Preventing Pollution
- Biomedical Laboratory Code of Practice - Introduction and Checklists and Reference Materials. Notebook prepared by the City of Albuquerque discussing best management practices for pollution prevention in biomedical laboratories. Topics covered include process management; spill control, disposal, purchasing and inventory management, mercury and wastes of concern. Included are specialized laboratory checklists, as well as an extensive reference manual covering specific chemicals and processes, and sources of alternative, less polluting reagents. http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/09/08373.pdf
- The Environmentally Responsible Dental Office: A Guide to Proper Waste Management in Dental Offices. This guide by the National Wildlife Federation offers information that makes it simple for dentists and office staff to safely dispose of waste containing hazardous materials such as mercury that could pollute. http://www.delta-institute.org/pollprev/mercury/linkfiles/VTdentalguide.pdf
- EPA's How-to Manual: Reducing Mercury Use in Health Care. Promoting a Healthier Environment. A comprehensive manual on developing and operating mercury reduction programs in health care facilities. Includes lists of medical equipment and supplies and alternatives for mercury-containing products.https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/2001hg.pdf
- Mercury Pollution Prevention in Health Care.
- EPA Guidance for Reporting Toxic Chemicals: Mercury and Mercury Compounds Category. Provides detailed guidance to facilities for meeting the new reporting requirements under Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) - Section 313. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/2001hg.pdf
- Guidance on Managing Mercury and Other Hazardous Materials in Construction and Demolition Waste. The Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have teamed to develop a website titled Recommended Management Practices for Removing Hazardous Building Components Prior to Demolition. It contains several fact sheets designed for contractors, facility operators, building officials and clients; a detailed guidebook; and a virtual tour of common hazardous building components that may be encountered in demolition projects. All of the guidance documents include photographs of items that may contain hazardous materials to assist in their recognition.
- Healthy Hospitals: Environmental Improvements Through Environmental Accounting. This Tellus Institute provides guidance on using environmental accounting to minimize mercury and other waste from healthcare facilities. http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/acctg/pubs/hospitalreport.pdf
- Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, Inc./The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MASCO/MWRA) Hospital Mercury Work Group provides extensive information about sources and control of mercury emissions in wastewater from health care facilities. http://www.masco.org/members/mascomwra-hospital-mercury-work-group
- Information includes several comprehensive mercury management guidebooks and reports:
- Pretreatment Guidance Manual provides systematic guidance on methods to control mercury in wastewater by eliminating it at the source, and by pretreating wastes before they are discharged to the publicly operated wastewater treatment (POTW) system. http://www.masco.org/system/files/downloads/programs/phase_ii_pretreatment_guidance_manual_11632.pdf
- Mercury Management Guidebook can be used as a reference by facility owners in the development of a management plan to reduce and control mercury in sewer discharges. http://www.masco.org/mercury/phase2/section1.html
- Mercury Management Self-Learning Packet. An example of a guidance document for use in training hospital staff.http://www.masco.org/system/files/downloads/programs/phase_ii_hg_managment_guidebook_17402.pdf
- MASCO Mercury Database is a searchable computerized database listing approximately 8,000 chemicals used by hospitals and institutions. For about 800 listed products, the Database includes the results of analytical testing for mercury content. http://www.masco.org/mercurydatabase
- Infrastructure Control Measures provides information on the origins of mercury and mercury-contaminated biomass in piping systems and recommended removal procedures. http://www.masco.org/mercury/phase2/appendixb.html
- Technology Identification Subgroup Report provides background and results of a bench-scale feasibility testing project involving six different mercury pretreatment technologies. http://www.masco.org/mercury/techid/index.html
- Mercury Use, Reduction and Waste Prevention in Medical Facilities. Developed by the EPA and Purdue University, this site provides a wealth of general and specific information on mercury. It includes an interactive program area titled: A Look in the Mirror: Mercury in Medical Institutions that allows the viewer to take a virtual tour of a medical facility. By clicking on various rooms and objects in a hospital setting the user can identify items that may contain mercury.
- Mercury Pollution Prevention in Healthcare: a Prescription for Success, is produced by the National Wildlife Federation and intended to offer guidance to hospitals that are striving to become mercury-free. It is also intended to help healthcare workers and citizens eliminate mercury from hospitals, doctors' offices and other healthcare facilities.
- Mercury Use: Laboratories. This document is one chapter of the Wisconsin Mercury Sourcebook prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Watershed Management, a working document created to help communities identify and reduce the purposeful use of mercury. It contains information on mercury-containing laboratory products, case studies on the source substitution experiences of labs, action ideas that describe source pollution prevention, recycling, and management practices for a lab mercury reduction plan, and current mercury projects in this sector. http://www.p2pays.org/ref/05/04015.pdf
- Michigan's Mercury Pollution Prevention Program Home Page. http://www.deq.state.mi.us/ead/p2sect/mercury/
- The Sustainable Hospitals Project (SHP) is a project of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. SHP provides extensive listings of health care products that contain mercury and other hazardous materials, and information on less hazardous or nonpolluting alternatives. Includes guidance on administration of mercury reduction programs and comparisons of mercury and non-mercury thermometers and other products. http://www.sustainablehospitals.org/cgi-bin/DB_Index.cgi
- The Terrene Institute's publication The Case Against Mercury: Rx for Pollution Prevention brochure and the complementary poster The Case Against Mercury illustrate how mercury is used in medical facilities, its potential dangers in the environment and safe substitutes for mercury in medical instruments and other products. Created in cooperation with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5. http://www.terrene.org/
Return to top of page
Environmental Protection Agency Documents
- EPA's Mercury Page. This page offers general and technical information on mercury, and a listing of links to EPA actions, reports and fish advisories. http://www.epa.gov/mercury/
- Background Information on Mercury Sources and Regulations. http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/bnsdocs/mercsrce/
- EPA Mercury Study Report to Congress provides an assessment of the magnitude of U.S. mercury emissions by source, the health and environmental implications of those emissions, and the availability and cost of control technologies. The full 2000+ page text is comprised of eight volumes and is available only on-line. http://www.epa.gov/oar/mercury.html
- EPA - American Hospital Association (AHA) Memorandum of Agreement (MOU). This MOU establishes a cooperative program between the EPA and AHA for reducing use and releases of mercury and other toxic pollutants from hospitals. Goals stated in the MOU include development of a Mercury Waste Virtual Elimination Plan that will set forth a strategy for achieving the goal of virtually eliminating mercury-containing waste from the health care industry waste stream by the year 2005. http://www.epa.gov/toxteam/ahamou.htm
- Mercury in the Environment - the Waste Connection. Do You Work With Any of These Items That May Contain Mercury? Another comprehensive listing of electrical system components and other equipment that may contain mercury, and disposal guidance to for these items. http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/p2/mercpam.html
- EPA New England Partners for Change Mercury Program. This section provides examples of the general types of activities and programs that can be implemented to promote mercury reductions at healthcare facilities. http://www.epa.gov/region01/steward/neeat/mercury/epapartners.html. A compilation of mercury reduction case studies from these facilities and links to the studies is available. http://www.epa.gov/region01/steward/neeat/mercury/casestudies.html#thermo
- EPA Update on Ambient Water Quality Criteria on Methylmercury. EPA is compiling an extensive set of human health criteria references on methyl mercury. A preliminary listing is available. http://www.epa.gov/ost/criteria/methylmercury/references.html
Return to top of page
Health Advisories on Mercury
Return to top of page
Organizations Concerned with Mercury Pollution
- American Hospital Association (AHA). Working with the EPA, the AHA's program Hospitals for a Healthy Environment has set as a primary goal the virtual elimination of mercury from hospitals by 2005. Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) www.h2e-online.org/ H2E offers an extensive list of resources and tools about mercury and eliminating it from health care facilities http://www.h2e-online.org/tools/mercury.htm.
- Health Care Without Harm is a collaborative campaign for environmentally responsible health care made up of more than 250 organizations. http://www.noharm.org . One of their major initiatives is to reduce mercury use and emissions from health care facilities. They provide mercury reduction information, a home for Mercury Man (one of the Hatter's campaign allies) and a brochure on conducting mercury reduction programs. https://noharm-uscanada.org/sites/default/files/documents-files/1063/Hosp_Products_Containing_Mercury.pdf https://noharm-uscanada.org/issues/us-canada/go-mercury-free
- Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, Inc (MASCO/MWRA) Hospital Mercury Work Group provides extensive information about sources of mercury emissions in wastewater from health care facilities, prevention and control strategies. Information includes a mercury management guidebook, recommended procedures for dealing with mercury contamination in plumbing and a searchable database of analytical data on mercury concentrations in commercial products. http://www.masco.org/members/mascomwra-hospital-mercury-work-group
Local Information and Resources
- The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) is a project of the Tides Center formed in 1998 to raise awareness about the threat of mercury contamination. They work to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses and significantly reduce mercury exposures. http://www.mercurypolicy.org/
- National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The NWF is active in promoting mercury reduction efforts and has developed guidance on preventing mercury pollution from dental and healthcare facilities. They have published numerous reports and case histories on prevention of mercury pollution and ways for citizens to become actively involved in these efforts. http://www.nwf.org