June 8th, 2009
By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now
Photo: Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas
For too long, hospitals have been less than healthy — inside and out.
They burn massive amounts of medical waste that spew the carcinogen dioxin into the air. They are energy gluttons, operating 24/7 — creating untold amounts of greenhouse gases and leaving massive carbon footprints. They traditionally have used about twice as much energy as regular office space. From toxins in lab chemicals to dangerous elements that leach from IVs and catheters made of vinyl plastic tubing, the place you go to heal may not always be good for you.
That is changing, thanks to powerful non-profit groups, architects with green expertise and some of the nation’s largest hospital systems.