Hospital solutions

In addition to Health Care Without Harm’s work to substitute mercury-based medical devices with accurate, affordable alternatives, we are working to substitute other hazardous chemicals in health care products and practices in a diversity of health care settings. 

Health Care Without Harm is executing a project funded by SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management) through the United Nations Environment Programme. This project is piloting chemical substitution in two hospitals in Argentina and two hospitals in the Philippines. Results of this project will be released in early 2014.

Additionally, a growing number of hospitals, health systems, communities and manufacturers around the world are reducing PVC and DEHP. While these efforts are primarily taking place in Europe, the United States, and Japan, there are also incipient initiatives in developing countries that point to an escalating trend in the Global South. PVC is rarely recycled, instead it usually ends up being incinerated or landfilled.



  • Chemicals of concern to health and environment: This document combines a list of 200 chemicals from various authoritative lists and environmental conventions that are carcinogenic, toxic, mutagenic and reproductive hazards. [English] [Spanish]
  • Chemicals of concern for the health sector: This document is based on the report Chemicals of Concern to Health and Environment. It includes the list of chemicals used by the health care sector and/or included in health products. In addition, the document includes case examples that demonstrate how hospitals have successfully substituted chemicals and chemicals in products with more sustainable alternatives. [English] [Spanish]
  • Guide to choose safer products and chemicals in the health care settings (in Spanish)
  • Safer chemicals: health care action kit: Guidance on choosing safer products and chemicals in health care institutions.