In hospitals and medical facilities there is a great deal of exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals. While it is necessary to have powerful cleaning products to clean and disinfect medical facilities, it is even more important to find safe alternatives and prevent damaging the health of any patient or staff worker. There are various types of exposure often found in gauges, lab chemicals, bottles, preservatives, thermometers, LCD screens, tubes, monitors and IV pumps. These chemicals can even be found on beds, chairs and hospital room curtains.
At times toxic chemicals may come from floors or wall paint if staff is working in a new medical facility. Many of the cleaning products themselves post the biggest threat as they contain strong compounds and ammonia. The materials that the staff workers use to diagnose the patients may also contain toxins such as gloves, clothing and even pesticides in cafeteria food. While this isn’t a common finding in medical facilities there are some areas that are taking action such as that of the Alaskan community in which one institution came across 62 different chemicals.
Most concern goes toward the staff such as RNs and medical transcriptionists. The employees are constantly touching, cleaning and taking care of duties within the facility. They are breathing in the chemicals at all times and are exposed to pollutants that surround the environment. There is waste management duties that emit pollutants into the air that reach farther than hospital walls. Unfortunately, when it comes to waste management there are limited options to choose from.
If patients or staff are exposed to the chemicals and it comes into direct contact with their skin or eyes it can cause extreme damage. While most of these disinfectants aren’t too strong many of them can be a health hazard and cause severe eye damage or burn skin in some cases. It’s important that staff members check ingredients to see whether or not components could potentially harm anyone working or attending the facility. The packaging on products also plays a large role in whether or not it is suitable for a medical institution. There are some outer wrappings that not only work to concentrate ingredients but can also be reused and recycled.
Due to recent findings there are more institutions that are making an effort to rebuild their chemical policies so that they can avoid dangerous circumstances. More programs are making an effort to boycott any chemicals that have cancer findings. With new inventory and purchasing options all hospitals and facilities can make the environment a safer and reassuring place. Although there is only so much that can be done by the health care institutions themselves it is the duty of the government to update their policy and make an effort to change these circumstances much sooner than later.