In 1998, a Memorandum of Understanding between the American Hospital Association and the U.S. EPA set new goals for hospital pollution prevention. One of the top priorities was the virtual elimination of mercury and mercury-containing devices from the hospital purchasing and waste stream. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. The most sensitive health effect of mercury is an adverse impact on the neurological development of fetuses, infants and children. Hospitals should protect the health of patients, staff and visitors, and reduce disposal costs and liability by avoiding purchase of mercury-containing equipment and devices and phasing out existing mercury sources.