Emodialisi e sostenibilità ambientale

  • Elena Mancini U.O. Nefrologia Dialisi Ipertensione, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Policlinico S. Orsola, Bologna - Italia
Parole chiave: Dialysis, Ecocompatibility, Environment, Sustainability


The healthcare system is great producer of greenhouse gases, and user of natural resources as well. Any dialysis-related activity, from procurement of materials to organization of patient transport, from administration of dialysis therapy itself to inevitable production of large amounts of waste, makes dialysis one of the health activities using most natural resources, indirectly producing greenhouse emissions.

Water consumption represents, inevitably, the highest environmental impact. We nephrologists are generally ill informed on the topic, and few of us know the actual water requirement per single dialysis treatment. Particularly, little is known about the large volume of water wasted with reverse osmosis: despite the industry’s efforts to reutilize wasted water, currently some 30% of the water used by reverse osmosis is still lost. However, in some countries modified water systems already exist, recovering and reusing lost water lost for different purposes, such as cleaning, steam production and gardening.

The power requirement, waste production and even the design of dialysis centers are further issues in the dialysis-ecocompatibility relationship. Awareness of these issues is surely the first step. It is now vital that we keep ourselves informed and updated, and raise these issues in our dialysis centers. English and Australian experience will hopefully pave the way for certain small, already feasible, acts. In future, the immediate future, the design of dialysis centers and especially water treatment systems is bound to undergo huge changes if we are to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

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