Mercury Elimination Leadership Program (HELP)
What is HELP?
The Mercury Elimination Leadership Program (HELP) recognizes California Hospitals eliminating mercury with a ceremony and presentation of a Banner and Certificate of Appreciation. The HELP program also recognizes hospitals that have the vision to build their facility mercury-free.
Virtual mercury elimination is defined in the memorandum of understanding between the American Hospital Association and the U.S. EPA Council as "the elimination of the disposal or improper discharge of mercury from a facility and the replacement of existing products which contain mercury with those that are mercury-free or as mercury-free as possible." HELP supports the national goal to virtually eliminate health care mercury wastes.
When mercury-containing fever thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and other health care products become waste, the mercury re-enters the environment through landfill gas releases and ground water leaching. Mercury elimination helps hospitals meet strict mercury wastewater treatment discharge limits.
The Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Department of Health Services, the California Healthcare Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, California Water Environment Association, Local Governments, and Publicly Owned Treatment Works promote the HELP Program. Our project goal continues to be the virtual elimination of mercury in California hospitals.
How to Get Your Award
To receive your California Mercury Elimination Leadership Program Certificate of Appreciation and Banner, submit the HELP MERCURY TOTALS one page Excel spreadsheet and the Hospital Certification Form to your local county government HELP representative. Hospitals that are built mercury-free only submit the “Built Mercury-Free” Hospital Certification Form.
Upon your request, the Department of Toxic Substances Control also nominates your hospital to receive the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) "Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award."
Attend a Free Workshop on Pollution Prevention for Medical Facilities
Contact your local county government HELP representative for information on scheduled workshops on mercury elimination and disposal.
Hospital Award Recipients
Virtually mercury-free hospitals receive a Certificate of Appreciation and Banner. See the Hospital Award Photos at the ceremonies acknowledging this accomplishment.
HELP Award Photos
HELP awards to hospitals voluntarily achieving the goal of virtual mercury elimination. Virtual mercury elimination is defined in the memorandum of understanding between the American Hospital Association and the U.S. EPA Council as "the elimination of the disposal or improper discharge of mercury from a facility and the replacement of existing products which contain mercury with those that are mercury-free or as mercury-free as possible."
MaryLove Rueda of Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, David Hartley and Mary Kathleen Pride of DTSC
Jack McGurk of DHS and Tracy Robles of Sutter Health showing the mercury elimination progress of Sutter Health System hospitals
November 20, 2003, City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute Mike Samoylenko and Nasr Gergis of City of Hope, Steve Kubo of DHS
March 21, 2006, Linda Mowry of Santa Clara County Medical Center and Stephen Lowes of San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant
February 9, 2006, Downey Regional Medical Center (DRMC) Safety Officer Stephen Cuthbertson
Certificates of Appreciation are presented to hospital systems voluntarily achieving a removal rate of 75% or greater. "Cooperative efforts such as this go a long way toward reaching the goals of Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger’s environmental action plan to reduce toxic waste in the state," points out Leonard Robinson, Chief Deputy Director for the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
Built Mercury-Free Awards
Hospitals that have the vision to build their hospitals mercury-free also receive a Certificate of Appreciation and Banner acknowledging this accomplishment.
Local Governments and Hospitals are working together to eliminate mercury from the healthcare environment. Many of California’s hospitals, having achieved the goal of becoming a mercury-free facility, received their award. Local governments are working with their hospitals in mercury elimination. Apply for your award by following the easy steps.
Castro Valley Sanitary District - Castro Valley
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District - Martinez
City And County Of San Francisco, Oceanside Water Pollution Control Pl - San Francisco
City And County Of San Francisco, Southeast Water Pollution Control Pl - San Francisco
City Of Arcata - Arcata
City Of Bakersfield - Bakersfield
City Of Burbank (united Water) - Burbank
City Of Corona - Corona
City Of Delano Wastewater Treatment Plant - Delano
City Of Escondido - San Marcos
City Of Eureka - Eureka
City Of Hayward Water Pollution Source Control - Hayward
City Of Lompoc Water Treatment Plant - Lompoc
City Of Los Angeles Bureau Of Sanitation - Whittier
City Of Merced - Merced
City Of Oceanside Waste Reclamation Facility, La Salina - OCEANSIDE
City Of Oceanside Waste Reclamation Facility, San Luis Rey - Oceanside
City Of Palo Alto Rwqc Plant - Palo Alto
City Of Richmond Sewer Treatment Plant - Richmond
City Of San Diego - San Diego
City Of San Luis Obispo - San Luis Obispo
City Of Santa Monica - Santa Monica
City Of Santa Rosa - Santa Rosa
City Of Vacaville - Elmira
County Of Santa Cruz, Dept. Of Public Works - Santa Cruz
Delta Diablo San District - Antioch
East Bay Municipal Utilities District - Oakland
Eastern Municipal Water District - Perris
Inland Empire Utilties Agency - Chino
Livermore Water Reclamation Plant - Livermore
Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency - Marina
Oro Loma Sanitary District - San Lorenzo
Redding - Redding
Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Plant - Riverside
Roseville Wastewater Treatment - Roseville
Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant - Elk Grove
San Elijo Joint Powers Authority - Cardiff
San Francisco Puc -Berm - San Francisco
San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant - San Jose
Sanitation Districts Of Los Angeles County - Whittier
Templeton Community Service District - Templeton
Catholic Healthcare West
Community Health System, Inc.
Cottage Health System
Daughters of Charity Health System
Department of Veterans Affairs
HCA Hospital Corporation of America
John Muir/Mt. Diablo Health System
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region
Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region
Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Memorial Health Services
Providence Health System
Province Healthcare, Inc.
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Southwest Healthcare System
St. Joseph Health System
Tenet Healthcare Corporation
Universal Health Services, Inc.
University of California
Valley Health System
Vanguard Health Systems
Vista Hospital Systems, Inc.
HELP Additional Resources
These documents are tools to assist you in identifying the mercury, documenting its removal from your health care facility, and calculating the amount removed.
The following are other useful pollution prevention links: