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VETERINARY SAFETY AND HEALTH

	Cover of publication 2010-150

Chemical Safety

Veterinary medicine and animal care workers are at risk of exposure to many different chemical hazards including glutaraldehyde and other disinfectants, hazardous drugs, latex , pesticides, and waste anesthetic gases. Exposure to these chemicals may occur by dermal contact (touching the skin) and/or inhalation (being breathed in). Splashes may result in chemical contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.

Overview of Chemical Safety

NIOSH: Chemical Safety

NIOSH Indoor Environmental Quality: Chemicals and Odors

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards

ATSDR Toxic Substances Portal

American Association of Poison Control Centers

AVMA: Veterinary Facility Occupational Risks for Pregnant Workers

Ammonia

NIOSH: Ammonia

Carbon Monoxide

CDC Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Cleaning Chemicals

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and all product label precautions.
  • Do not mix different cleaning products; some mixtures produce toxic gases.

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services: Common Cleaning Products May Be Dangerous When Mixed

Disinfectants

CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008

Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health: Disinfection

Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health: Veterinarians: Disinfectant Resources

Some examples:

Hazardous Drugs

Some examples:

  • Antineoplastic and other hazardous drug exposures may occur when treating animals for cancer and other diseases.
  • Hormones may be a reproductive hazard to female veterinarians.
    • Follow product labels for handling restrictions and proper precautions.
  • Micotil 300®, an injectable macrolide antibiotic, may cause illness or death in people who are exposed through needlestick injuries, skin cuts, puncture wounds, or contact with skin or mucous membranes.
  • Chloramphenicol is banned for large animal use due to the risk of aplastic anemia in humans but is still used in small animals.

NIOSH Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic Agents

NIOSH Hazardous Drug Exposures in Healthcare

AVMA: Best Management Practices for Pharmaceutical Disposal

AVMA: Veterinary Facility Occupational Risks for Pregnant Workers

NIOSH Workplace Solution: Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs for Veterinary Health Care Workers
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-150 (2010)
En Español

NIOSH Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers Who Work with Hazardous Drugs
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-106 (2008)

NIOSH Workplace Solutions: Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries When Handling Micotil 300®
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-124 (2007)

Hydrogen Sulfide

NIOSH Hydrogen Sulfide

NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Deaths of Farm Workers in Manure Pits

Laboratories

OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Laboratories

Latex

NIOSH Occupational Latex Allergies

NIOSH Latex Allergy: A Prevention Guide

OSHA Laboratory Safety – Latex Allergy

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

NIOSH Workplace Solution: Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs for Veterinary Health Care Workers
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-150 (2010)
En Español

NIOSH Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers Who Work with Hazardous Drugs DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-106 (2008)

NIOSH [2005]. NIOSH respirator selection logic 2004 DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005–100.

Pesticides

Exposures to workers may occur:

  • when treating animals for fleas, ticks, or mites.
  • when working with animals who have been treated with pesticides.

National Pesticide Information Center

EPA Pesticide Health and Safety

Phosphine gas

Exposures to workers may occur when treating:

  • animals that have ingested rodenticides containing zinc phosphide
  • animals that have ingested insecticides containing aluminum phosphide

CDC Medical Management Guidelines for Phosphine

AVMA Phosphine product precautions

National Pesticide Information Center Zinc phosphide/phosphine Technical Fact sheet

EPA Registration Eligibility Decision Facts: Zinc phosphide

Journal abstract: Proudstreet AT [2009 ] Aluminum and zinc phosphide poisoning. Clin Toxicol 47:89-100.

Waste anesthetic gases

Exposure to nitrous oxide, halothane, isoflurane and other waste anesthetic gases may occur during veterinary dentistry and surgical procedures.

American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists: Control of Waste Anesthetic Gases in the Workplace

OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Waste Anesthetic Gases

NIOSH Nitrous Oxide

NIOSH Waste Anesthetic Gases: Occupational Hazards in Hospitals
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-151 (September 2007)
En Español

Waste Disposal

AVMA Waste Disposal by Veterinary Practices: What Goes Where?

AVMA Best Management Practices for Pharmaceutical Disposal

National Center for Manufacturing Sciences Veterinary Compliance Assistance

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