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Kaiser Permanente Moves to Green Medical Supplies by Converting to Eco-Friendly IV Equipment
Date:1/19/2012

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente, committed to improving the health of its patients, workforce and communities, announced today it is converting its IV medical equipment to more eco-friendly alternatives that are free of PVC and DEHP, two industrial chemicals used in plastics that have been shown to harm human and environmental health.

Kaiser Permanente has agreed to purchase IV solution bags that are 100 percent PVC and DEHP free and intravenous tubing that is 100 percent free of DEHP. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and DEHP (di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate) are both widely used in medical products and have been shown to have harmful effects on health. Kaiser Permanente purchases 4.9 million IV tubing sets and 9.2 million solution bags each year. This conversion affects nearly 100 tons of medical equipment and also is expected to save close to $5 million a year.

"We at Kaiser Permanente recognize that the products we buy can have a direct effect on human health and the health of our environment," said Raymond J. Baxter, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "Our efforts to remove harmful chemicals from hospitals and clinics reflect our commitment to the total health of our members and our communities."

The move marks a major success for Kaiser Permanente's Sustainability Scorecard, the first of its kind in health care and a model for green purchasing in the sector. The scorecard, which launched in 2010, allows Kaiser Permanente to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of each medical item it purchases and also encourages suppliers across the industry to provide greener products for the health care sector. The scorecard requires suppliers to provide information on their company's environmental commitment, use of potentially harmful chemicals in their products and information about product and packaging recycling.

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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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