Contact: Ruth Berlin
MARYLAND HOSPITAL HONORED FOR GROUND-BREAKING
PESTICIDE-FREE APPROACH TO PEST MANAGEMENT
Baltimore, MD – The Integrated Pest Management in Health Care Facilities Project has honored Springfield Hospital Center (Sykesville, MD) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for their outstanding achievement in creating a “green pest management” campus through the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and practices that minimize the use of toxic chemicals in controlling pests.
The Integrated Pest Management in Health Care Facilities Project is a partnership between the Maryland Pesticide Network and Beyond Pesticides, in collaboration with Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MDH2E). The award was presented at the MDH2E annual Environmental Excellence in Healthcare Conference held Nov. 18, 2010 at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore. Springfield’s Chief Executive Officer, Paula Langmead, and Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health and Disabilities for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Renata Henry, on behalf of Secretary John M. Colmers, accepted the awards.
Least-toxic IPM in hospitals, elder care facilities, special needs schools, and other health care settings protects vulnerable populations at highest risk from the toxic effects of chemical pesticide use. As outlined in the Project’s 2008 report, Taking Toxics Out of Maryland’s Health Care Sector, the most vulnerable populations are unknowingly exposed to toxic pesticides in most Maryland health-care facilities because of their use of toxic chemical pesticides associated with a range of negative health effects, including certain cancers, nervous system damage, respiratory illnesses, birth defects, Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Disease, autism and endocrine disruption.
“We appreciate the leadership of Springfield Hospital Center and the State of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in removing toxic materials from its pest management program, and protecting the health of patients, staff and the environment”, said Ruth Berlin, executive director of the Maryland Pesticide Network, a coalition of 25 organizations in Maryland concerned about the impact of pesticides on public health and the environment.
“Springfield has proven that it is possible to protect patients and staff from both pests and toxic pesticides. It serves as a model for the health care industry and the public in the state of Maryland and the nation.”
““Health care facilities share a commitment to the well-being of those they serve, and it makes no sense for these facilities to use products that can cause diseases and conditions it seeks to cure or prevent” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, a national community-based organization of grassroots groups. “The IPM in Health Care Facilities Project is helping to move the health care sector in Maryland into the forefront of green pest management, serving as a model for non-toxic approaches to building and land management.”
The Project’s mission is to educate the health care industry about the dangers posed by pesticide exposure and to offer viable alternatives to reduce pest populations and pesticide applications by introducing IPM as a greening initiative that advances an atmosphere of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and fiscal security. Springfield was chosen by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to participate in the groundbreaking IPM pilot project in 2006.