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Mercury Reduction Workbook

(Available in English and Spanish)




Eliminating Mercury in Health Care: A Workbook to Identify Safer Alternatives [Link to PDF]

English version released June 2013.







Eliminación de Mercurio en el Sector Salud: un Manual para Identificar Alternativas más Seguras [Link to PDF]

(Eliminating Mercury in Health Care: A Workbook to Identify Safer Alternatives)

Spanish version released March 13, 2013.





This comprehensive guide for hospitals is filled with user-friendly guidance, tools, and sample templates for replacing mercury with safer products and practices.   Using a participatory process that is broadly applicable to any health care setting, it is particularly useful for hospitals with limited resources or who are inexperienced at conducting pollution prevention activities.

The workbook is written for all educational levels.   It is particularly strong in strengthening the capacity of cross-functional and inclusive teams to define problems, identify and evaluate alternatives, and implement effective solutions. 

Contents of the Workbook

I. Developing organizational capacity to conduct mercury reduction

II. Conducting a baseline assessment of mercury policies and practices

III. Quantifying mercury use in the hospital

IV. Prioritizing and developing action plans

V. Implementing action plans

VI. Routine assessment

Hospitals in Hermosillo, Mexico and in Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador successfully piloted the workbook over the past three years.   Each hospital found that the process led to measurable decreases in their use of mercury.

Beyond reducing mercury, use of the process raises staff members’ skills and improves safety and health in the hospital.  The skills gained can be applied effectively to other projects.

The Team Behind the Workbook

Seven hospitals, an NGO, and faculty, staff, and students from three universities collaborated to create and test the workbook along with critical support of the ministries of health and environment in Ecuador and Mexico.

Dr. Margaret Quinn, Principal Investigator, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production,

University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA USA

Dr. Rossy Alvarez, Co-Investigator

Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences

University of Sonora (UNISON), Hermosillo, Mexico


Dr. Raul Harari, Co-Investigator

The Institute for the Development of Production and the Work Environment (IFA)

Quito, Ecuador and

Universidad Tecnologica Equinoccial (UTE), Quito, Ecuador


The  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided funding for the project under Cooperative Agreement No. 83415501.   The Pan American Health Organization in Quito, Ecuador provided graphic design services and printing of the Spanish version of the workbook.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Galligan

Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell

One University Avenue

Lowell, MA  01854




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