MEDICAL BUSINESSES, BEYOND 3-R’S
An over-reliance on pharmaceutical and high-technology-based medicine negatively affects the environment including the generation of medical waste, typical office discards, and the effects of conventional medical practices. The numbers
are of consequence, an estimated 50,000 tons of medical waste is generated annually in California alone.1 Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), hormones, heavy metals, and organic contaminants were found in 80% of surface water samples taken across 30 states by USGS.2 Primary sources of water pollution by PPCPs are thought to be the improper discarding by individuals and residue from human excrement, not the manufacturer.3
Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting the Teleosis Institute, Berkeley, to learn about their Green Health Care Program. Teleiosis takes a community-based holistic approach. What role does the medical community have in environmental
responsibility? Major, according to Dr. Joel Kriesberg, Chairman of Teleosis Institute. Green Health Care accepts that environmental health is intrinsic to human health. The health professional’s natural role is to serve as environmental educator, advocate, and steward.
The three-pronged program promotes Environmental Health Advocacy (EHA), Ecologically Sustainable Medicine (ESM), and Green Work Place (GWP). EHA assists practitioners in becoming knowledgeable about local environmental health issues and in recognizing the signs and symptoms of environmental illness, thus empowering providers as Environmental Wellness Leaders. ESM encourages providers to offer affordable and renewable medicine choices, saving resources and money, while emphasizing wellness in daily medical practices, and advancing medicine with environmental integrity. GWP explores benefits of sustainable practices such as conserving resources, reducing waste, and generally reducing the environmental impact on the workplace. Successful Green Health Care Professionals are awarded Bay Area Green Business certification given by the Bay Area Green Business Program, a Teleosis partner.
Teleiosis invites you to imagine: A health care system where a visit to a health practitioner is healthful, educational, and life-enhancing. A conversation with your provider informs you of environmental issues in your community that might impact your health or your family’s health. A health care office that proudly showcases how reducing its impact on the environment through conserving natural resources
and reducing waste… Making this a reality is the goal of the Teleosis institute.
Joel can be contacted at Teleosis Institute, http://www.teleosis.org.
1. McGurk, Jack. 2004. Greening of the Red-Bag Waste Stream. California Department of Health Services. (PDF)
2. California Health and Safety Code 120365 States Vaccinations are required for admittance to schools and child care programs unless the parent or guardian “files with the governing authority a letter or affidavit stating that the immunization is contrary to his or her beliefs. NOTE: On June 30, 2015 CA Senate Bill 277 mandating childhood vaccines was signed by Governor Brown and passed into law.
3. Daughton, Christian G., 2003. “Cradle-to-Cradle Stewardship of Drugs for Minimizing Their Environmental Disposition While Promoting Human Health” (in) Environmental Health Perspectives. v. 111. n. 5. May 2003.
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs)
Written by Myra Nissen, published in Northern California Recycling Coalition, Newsletter 2005
Myra Nissen, CCH
Copyright © 2005–2023, Myra Nissen.
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This article was brought to you by Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA), Board Certified Classical Homeopath. Myra teaches women how to recognize their body’s unique needs and cues and uses Homeopathy to help empower women to take control of their bodies, health and well-being. Find out more, visit her blog www.myranissen.com/blog.