Purpose: To calculate the volume of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated by a hospital-based interventional radiology (IR) department. Materials and Methods: Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to calculate GHGs emitted by an IR department at a tertiary care academic medical center. The volume of waste generated, amount of disposable supplies and linens used, and the operating times of electrical equipment were recorded for procedures performed between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on 5 consecutive weekdays. LCA was then performed using purchasing data, plug loads for electrical hardware, data from temperature control units, and estimates of emissions related to travel in the area surrounding the medical center. Results: Ninety-eight procedures were performed on 97 patients. The most commonly performed procedures were drainages (30), placement and removal of venous access (21), and computed tomography–guided biopsies (13). Approximately 23,500 kg CO2e were emitted during the study. Sources of CO2 emissions in descending order were related to indoor climate control (11,600 kg CO2e), production and transportation of disposable surgical items (9,640 kg CO2e), electricity plug load for equipment and lighting (1,060 kg CO2e), staff transportation (524 kg CO2e), waste disposal (426 kg CO2e), production, laundering, and disposal of linens (279 kg CO2e), and gas anesthetics (19.3 kg CO2e). Conclusions: The practice of IR generates substantial GHG volumes, a majority of which come from energy used to maintain climate control, followed by emissions related to single-use surgical supplies. Efforts to reduce the environmental impact of IR may be focused accordingly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine