Every day, patients and workers are exposed to a wide array of chemicals in hospitals and health care facilities. Many of these chemicals can harm health and the environment. Because it is ubiquitous, flooring can contribute to environmental contamination and poor indoor air quality, depending on the materials selected. The vast majority of flooring in health care is resilient flooring, yet some of the chemicals used in resilient flooring can pose threats to people and the environment.
Health Care Without Harm recently defined environmental attributes for healthy flooring in health care, and Practice Greenhealth launched a goal for hospitals to achieve that incorporated these attributes. Given the expected volume of flooring that will be needed in the future, and the environmental footprint of flooring, resilient flooring is an important product category to prioritize for sustainability. Alternative flooring materials are available, and hospital systems have been specifying and installing these alternatives.
This session will describe the Healthy Flooring criteria and Practice Greenhealth goal, and the application of green flooring criteria in health care from the perspective of a major health care system and a health care interior designer.