Safer Chemicals


Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada – EcoAction Community Funding Program, this two-year clean water initiative will reduce toxic and hazardous waste generated by health care facility operations through the identification, implementation, and evaluation of innovative, toxics-free technologies and chemical use strategies.

Working collaboratively with BC Lower Mainland GreenCare, Ontario’s Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Synergie Santé Environnement, the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction, Class 1 Inc., Crothall Healthcare and Tersano Inc., will seek to reduce toxic and other hazardous waste by replacing chemical agents with safer alternatives and implementing systems that reduce or eliminate the need for chemical use.

The results of these pilot efforts will be used to develop comprehensive best practices to strategically reduce chemicals in health care facilities. Webinars, case studies, reports and other outreach materials will be developed based on the key successes and lessons learned and distributed nation-wide to the broader health care community.

Reducing Toxic and Hazardous Waste in Health Care

Products and services containing toxic substances are used in many health care environments on a daily basis. These products and services are often necessary for sanitation, basic aesthetics, or medical purposes. Education on the harm these substances can cause, as well as their sources and healthier alternatives, is needed by health care providers to better equip them with the decision-making power to choose products and services that protect the health of their patients, workers, and the broader community.

Corporate policies specifying which toxic chemicals cannot be used are known as safer chemical policies. Safer chemical policies are becoming increasingly prevalent as organisations realize the harmful effects of many ubiquitous chemicals and opt to use safer, greener products and services.

Case Studies

Safer Chemicals Reports

Safer Chemicals Past Webinars

Green Cleaning
April 27th, 2018- Safer Chemicals Webinar
Using safer chemicals and new technologies for green cleaning in health care facilities
Download the slides in English here or Watch the webinar in English here. 

Green Cleaning Articles
Three recently published articles in the American Journal of Infection Control explore the efficacy of non-toxic options for disinfecting surfaces:

  1. 1. Reduced health care-associated infections in an acute care community hospital using a combination of self-disinfecting copper-impregnated composite hard surfaces and linens
  2. 2. Evaluating the effectiveness of ultraviolet-C lamps for reducing keyboard contamination in the intensive care unit: A longitudinal analysis
  3. 3. Evaluation of an ultraviolet C light–emitting device for disinfection of electronic devices

August 2016: Reduction of Hospital Environmental Contamination Using Automatic UV Room Disinfection published in

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
May 8th, 2018 - Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Webinar
Inventory of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Canadian Neonatal Units
Soigner sans nuire reduire l'exposition aux perturbateurs endocrinens en milieu hospitalier

Download the slides in English here or Watch the webinar in English here.
Download the slides in French here. Or Watch the webinar in French here

Synergie Sante Environnment Pilot Project Report (French) 

Download the full document here.



Safer Chemicals Resources

Reducing Toxic and Hazardous Waste in the Health Care Community

 Project Activities

  1. Engage technical partners to provide innovative technological systems and information on toxics-reduced chemicals for health care.
  2. Develop background research on best practice strategies for toxics reduction in health care operations.
  3. Engage partner facilities willing to implement (pilot) new systems and strategies; formalize their organisational commitments to pilot projects.
  4. Develop implementation plans with partner facilities for introduction of new systems and strategies.
  5. Establish baselines of chemical purchasing, chemical use, and hazardous waste generation at pilot facilities; develop a standardized evaluation procedure to compare year 2 results to initial baselines.
  6. Oversee implementation of new systems and strategies (chemical reduction measures) at pilot health care facilities.
  7. Conduct ongoing mid-project evaluation of toxics reduction achieved by pilot projects (reduction measures); assess findings to determine whether implementation plans can be modified to optimize results.
  8. Develop best practices and case studies of pilot projects as well as communications strategy for introducing findings to national health care community.
  9. Complete pilot projects with final evaluation and validation of toxics reductions achieved according to established baselines.
  10. Perform communications/awareness activities to distribute pilot findings and recommendations to national health care community; assess level of interest in pursuing additional or expanded reductions projects at partner or other facilities.

Performance Indicators/ Results

  • Reduction or diversion of toxic or harmful waste
  • Participants in Activities
  • Volunteers participating directly in project
  • Jobs Created

Coalition Project Staff:

Kent Waddington, Communications Director – Project Lead
Dan Ritchie – Project Assistant
Linda Varangu, Executive Director – Project Advisor


BC Lower Mainland GreenCare 
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
Synergie Santé Environnement
Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction 
Class 1 Inc.  
Crothall Healthcare  
Tersano Inc. 

For further information, contact:

Kent Waddington
Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
1-613-720-4889 or

This project was undertaken with the financial support of:
Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier de: