In 2006, the ANA’s House of Delegates approved the resolution “Nursing Practice, Chemical Exposure and Right-to-Know”. This document resolves to “…advance(s) an enhanced organizational initiative to educate nurses about the potentially harmful chemicals that are typically used in the healthcare settings including currently available safer protects for substitution…(and) endorses efforts to ensure that nurses have full access to information and the right-to-know about the potentially hazardous chemicals to which nurses, other healthcare workers, patients, and communities in general are exposed.” In addition, the HOD resolution directs ANA to be involved in state and federal legislative advocacy and policy development related to chemical policy.
This resolution is a response to the need to update and reform our nation’s failed policies regarding chemical exposure. This resolution should be fully implemented in health care, as it will educate healthcare workers about the hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed and do away with the unnecessary use of hazardous chemicals in healthcare settings. As nurses, we can lead the health care industry in advocating for decreased toxic chemical use, safer substitutes, transparent product and chemical component testing, safety data availability and ensuring adequate labeling. ANA is engaged in chemical reform through a diverse coalition, Safer Chemical, Healthy Families.