Welcome to the Department of Toxic Substances Control

What is HELP?

For more information, please call: (800) 700-5854 or (916) 322-3670

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.

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