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Eliminating mercury use in hospital laboratories: a step toward zero discharge.
  • Published Date:
    1999 Jul-Aug
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 114(4):353-358
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.14 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:
    In 1996, the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District initiated a Zero Discharge Project to work toward the goal of zero discharge of persistent toxic substances from its wastewater treatment plant. This multifaceted project focuses on mercury, lead, dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, and hexachlorbenzene. Here, the author describes a collaboration with local hospitals to eliminate the use of mercury-containing fixatives by histopathology laboratories. Three primary roadblocks to change were identified: (a) technicians' belief that pathologists would be resistant to change; (b) lack of time to research alternatives; (c) lack of awareness of the hospital's role in polluting the environment.

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