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Open Access Reducing the Emission of X-Ray Contrast Agents to the Environment: Decentralized Collection of Urine Bags and Its Acceptance

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X-ray contrast agents (XCAs) are increasingly polluting water. One way of effectively tackling the root of the problem is direct collection of patient urine. This requires gaining broad acceptance among patients and medical personnel.

Iodinated x-ray contrast agents (XCAs) are water-soluble and persistent; their use and the associated water pollution are on the rise. They are not sufficiently removed in sewage treatment plants. XCAs are administered in medical facilities and are excreted almost unchanged in patients’ urine within 24 hours. These properties predestine the direct collection of patient urine. In Germany source- and application-oriented approaches, which require a broad acceptance among the relevant actors, are politically discussed as important columns of a holistic micro-pollutant strategy. The applicability of urine bags and their acceptance by patients and staff were examined in the pilot project MindER. 159 patients, roughly 20 to 25 percent of those addressed, took part in the survey. They assessed the measure mainly positively. The assessment of the staff was more sceptical. For a high level of acceptance among medical staff, it is important that the bags can be integrated into existing routines as simply as possible.
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Keywords: X-ray contrast agents; acceptance surveys; hospitals; intervention; patients; radiology; trace substances; urine bag; wastewater; water pollution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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