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Hazardous anticancer drugs in health care: environmental exposure assessment.

Authors
Connor-TH
Source
Ann NY Acad Sci 2006 Sep; 1076:615-623
NIOSHTIC No.
20031145
Abstract
Exposure of health care workers to anticancer drugs became problematic in the 1970s. Shortly thereafter, studies began documenting exposure of healthcare workers to these drugs. Investigations employing biological markers, such as urine mutagenicity, chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges, and micronuclei, demonstrated associations between occupational exposures and elevated marker levels. Other analytical methods emerged to monitor workplaces where drugs were handled. These contemporary studies uncovered widespread contamination of drugs on work surfaces, trace amounts in air samples, and their presence in the urine of workers. Vials containing these drugs are often contaminated with the drug when they are shipped. Most workplace surfaces are contaminated with the drugs being prepared and used in that area. Other anticancer/hazardous drugs would most likely be used in these areas. The interior surfaces of biological safety cabinets and isolators, floors, countertops, carts, storage bins, waste containers, treatment areas, tabletops, chairs, linen, and other items are all potential sources of exposure to anticancer drugs. Patient body fluids contain the drugs and/or metabolites, often more biologically active than the parent compounds. An exposure assessment of areas where anticancer/hazardous drugs are handled must consider every potential source and route of exposure. Data from surface contamination and inhalation studies suggest that dermal exposure is the primary route of exposure. Assessment of exposure is the first step in providing a safe work environment for these workers. However, because of the many drugs to which they are exposed, any assessment can only be an estimation of the overall exposure.
Keywords
Drugs; Cancer; Health-care; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Health-care-personnel; Analytical-methods; Air-samples; Air-sampling; Workers; Worker-health; Urinalysis; Author Keywords: antineoplastic drugs; occupational exposure; exposure assessment
Contact
Thomas H. Connor, Ph.D., NIOSH MS C-23, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
CODEN
ANYAA9
Publication Date
20060901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
tmc6@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
ISBN No.
9781573316538
ISSN
0077-8923
NIOSH Division
DART
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
State
OH
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