February 2019

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Safer Chemicals
Climate & Energy
Sustainable Food
Other News
Safer Chemicals

Moving towards a phase-out of dental amalgam in Europe

Dental fillings containing mercury contribute to the accumulation of mercury in the environment. Known as dental amalgam, a compound of mercury (Hg, 43- 54%) and other metals, it is the largest use of mercury in the European Union and a significant source of pollution. Mercury is an extremely toxic and persistent metal and considered one of the WHO’s top ten chemicals of major public health concern

Summarising the key actions required by the EU's new Mercury Regulation, HCWH Europe's publication Moving towards a phase-out of dental amalgam in Europe also provides recommendations for dental practitioners as they become responsible partners in the phase-down of dental amalgam in Europe, take responsibility for the envi­ronmental impacts of their work, and advocates for the phase-out of dental amal­gam.
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Substituting medical devices: Lessons from Europe and Morocco


In collaboration with Global Green and Healthy Hospitals member UHC Mohammed VI of Marrakech, HCWH Europe conducted a survey on medical device procurement practices in Morocco, collecting information about the level of knowledge, and the attitudes and behaviours of professionals using medical devices containing PVC plasticised with DEHP.

The results of this survey are set out in a report, (also published in French) which aims to gain a better understanding of the Moroccan regulatory framework and the level of involvement of suppliers, as well as to suggest potential improvements to speed up the implementation of these substitution alternatives in healthcare institutions with reference to successful European substitution initiatives.

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Stay ahead of regulation | Substitute hazardous chemicals

The SIN list from ChemSec provides procurement specialists with a helpful list of hazardous chemicals to avoid. The SIN List comprises chemicals that have been identified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs), based on the criteria defined within the EU regulation (REACH).

The SIN List is developed by ChemSec in close collaboration with scientists and technical experts, as well as an NGO advisory committee of leading environmental, health, women and consumer organisations. The list is based on credible, publicly available information from existing databases and scientific studies, as well as new research.

Acknowledged by the European Commission and UNEP, the SIN List is a major driver for innovation and a useful tool for chemical hazard assessment and chemical and product prioritisation. As the healthcare sector increasingly aims for a sustainable future, consult the SIN list in your procurement decisions.
Access the SIN list

Climate & Energy

Webinar | The Health Care Climate Challenge: Setting and achieving measurable sustainability goals

As part of their daily activities, hospitals and health systems generate a significant volume of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change and undermine the health of the very population they are treating. Not only damaging to the environment and human health, greenhouse gas emissions also result in significant costs to healthcare providers. By targeting investment to reduce emissions through energy efficiency, travel planning, waste management, and sustainable procurement, the healthcare sector can unlock valuable cost efficiencies, as well as support improved health and wellbeing. 

Launched in 2015 at the Paris Climate Conference, the Health Care Climate Challenge is an HCWH initiative that mobilises healthcare institutions to play a leadership role in addressing climate change. This discussion-based webinar aims to inform participants about the challenges and opportunities for the healthcare sector in the face of climate change, and showcase examples of best practice in climate-smart healthcare from around Europe.

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Last chance to participate - Tackling AMR in European hospitals survey

There is still time to submit a response to our survey investigating best practices to tackle AMR (antimicrobial resistance) in the hospitals and health systems across Europe.

Antibiotics are vital medicines in the treatment of bacterial infections. Their effectiveness, however, is threatened by the spread of drug-resistant bacterial strains. Described by England’s Chief Medical Officer as a “catastrophic threat”, AMR is estimated to cause 700,000 deaths per year globally.

As part of our Safer Pharma campaign, we have developed a survey, the first of this kind at the EU level, aimed at hospitals and health systems to investigate best practices to tackle AMR in the healthcare systems across Europe.
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Sustainable Food

Webinar | sustainable food in healthy food: Food strategies in healthcare

Hospital food can mean different things to each of us; and food practices vary considerably across the European healthcare sector. At Health Care Without Harm Europe we believe that healthcare facilities should develop food strategies promoting the idea that healthy food is synonymous with sustainable food. Such sustainable food strategies are not only better for patients’ wellbeing, but also for the wider community and for the environment.

Implementing a more sustainable approach to food provision requires leadership at all levels to ensure that environmental sustainability is a key organisational priority that supports protecting human health. Clear communication and education on the benefits of a sustainable food strategy are also important to gain the interest and buy-in of catering teams, procurement staff, clinicians, and patients.

During this webinar we will demonstrate how applying new approaches and forms of collaboration can accelerate uptake of scalable solutions, and address present barriers and challenges to the implementation of healthy and sustainable food initiatives in the European healthcare sector. Take a seat at the table – register today!
Register now

Other News

Show your support for PVC-free blood bags - Submit a letter of intent

There are currently no blood bags available on the market that do not contain PVC or phthalates, even though we know that PVC containing softening phthalates adversely affects our environment and our health. A blood bag made of PVC usually contains up to 40 percent of the plasticiser DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) which is classified as toxic to reproduction and has recently also been classified as an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC). The PVC-free Blood Bag project has shown that it is possible to produce a completely PVC-free set of bags, which can store red blood cells and fulfil the required specifications.

The project has increased demand by spreading knowledge and awareness together with European healthcare, which is very important for the project. Healthcare organisations can help support this demand by signing a Letter of Intent and help bring the PVC-free blood bag to the market.
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