Use of Nonradioactive Technologies Is Having Big Impact in Hospital
Waste Reduction Efforts
Continuing efforts begun in the late 1980s, Jefferson has dramatically
reduced use of radioactive materials in medical research and clinical environments.
Contributing to this positive change are environmentally aware employees
and new, alternative technologies.
"Only 10 to 15 percent of tests now performed in Jefferson's endocrine/immunoassay
laboratory are radioactive based, compared to 75 percent six years ago,"
says Emanuel Rubin, MD, the Gonzalo E. Aponte Professor of Pathology, Anatomy
and Cell Biology, and department chair.
Jefferson began to explore alternative technologies for research and medical
testing in the late 1980s because of the numerous drawbacks to the use and
disposal of radioactive material and the staffÕs motivation for environmental
advocacy. As a result, the hospitalÕs efforts substantially decreased
the level of commercial waste being produced, Dr. Rubin points out.
Four nonradioactive-based technologies now used at Jefferson are fluorescence,
chemiluminescence, PCR and enzyme immuno-assay.