An ongoing state effort to reduce air pollution stemming from Illinois hospital incinerator emissions has won one more convert from a suburban Chicago hospital. Hinsdale (Ill.) Hospital said it would close a medical waste incinerator it has operated since 1981, but that no final shutdown date has been established yet. "We've agreed in principle to shut it down and we're working out the final details," said Michael Krivich, regional director of marketing for Hinsdale Hospital's parent company, Adventist Health Midwest. "We've been working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency since August to find the best method for taking care of this issue. It's an ongoing process."
Hinsdale Hospital will be the seventh hospital to respond to a public request made in September by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich that 11 Illinois hospitals still operating medical waste incinerators voluntarily shut them down because emissions resulting from incineration of medical waste contain dangerous toxins. Four other Illinois hospitals -- Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Memorial Hospital in Belleville and Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mount Vernon -- continue to legally operate medical waste incinerators. Those hospitals have requested state payment to assist in closing the incinerators down. Since 2000, 99 Illinois hospitals have closed their incinerators. -- by Mark Taylor