San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) September 29, 2010
Cosmetic Dentistry of San Antonio, a newly-opened dental facility in the city’s North Central area, was planned as a green workplace, which its founders hope will be a model of environmentally and socially responsible practices for other San Antonio businesses.
The “Green Factor” was a critical part of the planning and design of the new practice, says Dr. June Camacho, DDS, who co-founded CDSA, along with her husband, veteran cosmetic dentist Dr. Edward Camacho, DDS.
After suffering health problems connected with paint fumes, Dr. Camacho developed her vision of a green workplace.
“I started on my journey to being green around six years ago when I was working in an office that had done some remodeling and painting,” Dr. Camacho says. “I would get headaches and just feel bad in general after breathing paint fumes all day. It does not take a genius to figure out that probably something in the paint is not so good to be breathing in. I started researching paint and found out that it has VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds, that negatively affect the environment and human health.”
But her research didn’t end with paint. She also discovered that carpet is manufactured from hundreds of toxic materials that can create an unhealthy environment. She used her knowledge to make the couple’s own home healthier, and then turned to the idea of building “green” into their new dental practice.
“We decided we wanted the new office to be as green as possible, since we are committed to helping the planet and improving the overall health of our staff and our patients, and not just their teeth,” she said. “It does take more time, money and effort to go green, but we feel it’s the right thing to do.”
CDSA’s green commitment covers everything from floors and walls to paperwork and dental supplies, to the coffee that greets visitors in the lobby. Highlights include:
- CLEAN AIR / CARPET-FREE – The building is carpet-free, eliminating the environmental risks of the toxins used in making carpets. And high-efficiency air filters provide cleaner air and have to be changed less often. And CDSA is committed to using VOC-free paints for future painting projects.
- AMALGAM SEPARATOR – The office’s suction system separates out and collects the mercury from amalgam, or silver fillings, so it can be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way. Offices without such a system release toxic mercury into the water system. While some states require such systems, Texas does not. The Camachos’ decision to voluntarily use a separator will encourage other local dentists to follow its example.
- DIGITAL X-RAYS – This technology eliminates the use of toxic developing chemicals that are harmful to the environment and also eliminates the exposure to fumes. It also significantly reduces a patient’s radiation exposure.
- WATER PURIFICATION / SOFTENER SYSTEM – An environmentally friendly water softening and purification system that filters out chlorine and other toxic chemicals without salt pollution.
- GREEN SUPPLIES – Gloves, masks, suction tips and virtually all paper products are from companies that use environmentally friendly materials and/or manufacturing processes. Necessary chemicals are at the lowest level of toxicity that will still be effective. Even the toothbrushes given away to patients are purchased from a company that donates a percentage of the sales to clean water programs in Africa.
- GREEN CLEANING – The office is cleaned by a green certified cleaning company – Pure Green. The program incorporates safer cleaning methods, less-toxic cleaning products, more efficient cleaning equipment, packaging that has less impact on the environment, and recycled paper supplies. Even the hand soap is certified green. CDSA uses a green certified pest control company.
- COFFEE BAR - The gourmet coffee bar in the reception area has only fair trade coffee that supports smaller farmers who grow their coffee in a more environmentally sound way. All cups , lids, napkins and stirrers are from recycled materials, and even the plastic water bottles use 30% less plastic and can be recycled, unlike most plastic bottles. And coffee is made from water coming from the healthy purified water system.
- PAPERLESS WORKFLOW & RECYCLING – The CDSA office is virtually paperless, skipping paper charts. And the paper that is used – for letterhead and envelopes, for example – is printed on recycled paper. And waste paper – like all other recyclable material in the office – is collected for recycling.
Dr. Camacho is also committed to educating the visitors about the green lifestyle. “I will be posting articles on our website on going green and being more environmentally responsible and for healthier living in general,” she said. (http://www.cosmeticdentistryofsa.com/category/health-and-wellness/ ) “So look for upcoming posts on what you can do to lessen your impact on the environment and keep you and your family healthier. Now that is something to smile about!”
Cosmetic Dentistry of San Antonio
16535 Huebner (at Bitters) Suite 102
Valencia Village Shopping Center
San Antonio, Texas 78248