Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental health organizations, and religious groups.

Health Care Without Harm has regional offices in Reston, Virginia; Brussels; Buenos Aires and Manila. In other world regions, we work with Strategic Partners based in New Delhi, Durban, Dar es Saalam and elsewhere.

“First Do No Harm” … Together with our partners around the world, Health Care Without Harm shares a vision of a health care sector that does no harm, and instead promotes the health of people and the environment.

To that end, we are working to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease.

For example, the incineration of medical waste is a leading source of dangerous air pollutants such as dioxin and mercury, and the use of hazardous chemicals indoors may contribute to the high rates of asthma among health care workers. The huge scale of the health care sector worldwide means that unhealthy practices — such as poor waste management, use of toxic chemicals, unhealthy food choices and reliance on polluting technologies — have a major negative impact on the health of humans and the environment.

The good news is that the health care sector can play a leading role in solving these problems. Due to its massive buying power, and its mission-driven interest in preventing disease, the health care sector can help shift the entire economy toward sustainable, safer products and practices.

Health Care Without Harm is at the center of this work to transform the health sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice.