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Environmental Health News From the Center

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When we choose what to eat,
we influence our health with each bite.

Read how the decline in bees is hurting agriculture and our food chain.
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Deirdre's Recipe Of The Week
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How To Block Nearly All The Mercury In Your Diet Using Everyday Foods
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Book Pick of the Week

The End Of Dieting, By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

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Introducing One of America’s Top 10 Green Hospitals

This spring, Hackensack University Medical Center celebrates the opening of its newest addition:  The Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion.  With the guidance of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, the pavilion is a "green building" in action.  It is one of the first environmentally responsible and sustainable healthcare facilities of its size, and was named one of America’s Top 10 Green Hospitals by The Green Guide

The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center is proud to have played a leading role in the selection of environmentally responsible building materials and processes in this state-of-the-art healing facility.  Healing involves body, mind and spirit, and this is apparent throughout the new pavilion.  Our holistic approach comes through in natural design themes and a space that includes private rooms throughout, and special amenities for families, like showers, lockers and accommodations for sleeping in.

The concept of green building encompasses energy efficiency, sustainable materials, indoor air quality, waste minimization and disposal. The new pavilion exceeds guidelines for green buildings established by the U.S. Green Building Council and The Green Guide for Healthcare. It will also serve as a resource and role model for hospitals and other large buildings throughout the nation.

The world-class cuisine at the pavilion restaurant was designed by a world-renowned chef, and includes organic selections.  Other green building attributes include a water filtration system to reduce chlorine and sediment, compact fluorescent bulbs and motion sensors that shut off lights automatically.  Robes, gowns and pajamas are made from 25 percent organic cotton/75 percent “green” cotton (processed without toxic chemicals).  About 95 percent of the building insulation is made from pre-consumer recycled denim jeans, an alternative to traditional fiberglass insulation which can be harsh to the skin and respiratory system. The entire building's insulation uses the equivalent of up to 156,000 pairs of denim jeans.

About 15 percent of the construction costs were for environmentally preferred choices, many of which pay for themselves in reduced costs for energy, and human and environmental health. The idea is to create a stronger demand for green building concepts. The more these products and processes are adopted, the lower the initial cost will be.

The pavilion will include all pediatric inpatient services in a child-friendly environment. Playrooms feature non-toxic toys, including wooden toys free of formaldehyde and PVC-free plastic toys.  Women’s services will include a state-of-the-art maternal fetal medicine suite, labor and delivery rooms, two mother/baby units, and a high-risk antepartum care unit.

For more information, please click here for the green building icon on