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Ethylene oxide: toxicology review and field study results of hospital use.

Authors
Glaser-ZR
Source
J Environ Pathol Toxicol 1979 May/Jun; 2(5):173-208
NIOSHTIC No.
00115510
Abstract
The use of ethylene-oxide (75218) (ETO) in health care facilities is reviewed. The acute toxicity symptoms of ETO, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, respiratory irritation and dermatologic conditions are described. Chronic effects including numbing of the sense of smell, nausea, vomiting, and toxic dermatitis are discussed. An epidemiological study of workers in an ETO manufacturing facility is reviewed. Tabulated data is provided on the biological effects of ETO, its acute toxicity, tissue irritation, concentrations needed to produce ocular pathology, subchronic and chronic toxicity, and genetic and allied effects. The use of the ETO gas sterilizers in hospitals and potential exposure situations due to improper venting, aeration of equipment, poor room ventilation, and malfunctioning equipment are discussed. Methods for sampling and analysis of ETO concentrations in the work area are described. The authors conclude that ETO should be considered mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic to humans, and occupational exposures be minimized. They recommend improved techniques for exhausting the gas from the sterilizer, aerator, and sterilized items, and supervision of the sterilization process.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Oxides; Toxicology; Respiratory-irritants; Skin-disorders; Health-surveys; Chemical-properties; Occupational-medicine; Medical-facilities
CODEN
JEPTDQ
CAS No.
75-21-8
Publication Date
19790501
Document Type
Journal Article
Editors
Bridbord-K; French-J
Fiscal Year
1979
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0146-4779
NIOSH Division
DCDSD
Source Name
Journal of Environmental Pathology and Toxicology. Toxicological and Carcinogenic Health Hazards in the Workplace: proceedings of the First Annual NIOSH Scientific Symposium, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 1978
State
MD
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