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Workshop will Offer Experienced 'How To' in Reducing Job Exposures to Hazardous Drugs

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
September 23, 2004

Strategic, experience-based guidance for reducing occupational exposures to antineoplastic agents and other hazardous drugs in healthcare settings will be presented at a workshop Oct. 3-5, sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Workshop speakers and moderators will describe recommendations from the recent NIOSH document, “Alert on Reducing Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare,” and will share  practical, effective steps for putting those measures into practice in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  The speakers and moderators will include representatives from NIOSH, the National Institutes of Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the nursing, pharmacy, and drug manufacturing industries.

Discussions will cover precautions for the full life-cycle of hazardous drug preparation, administration, and disposal in healthcare settings.  Precautions include engineering controls, administrative controls, ventilation, biological safety cabinets, isolators, personal protective equipment, gloves, work practices, training, and waste handling practices.  The workshop is intended for pharmacy and nursing personnel, health and safety professionals, home healthcare managers, housekeeping personnel, and hospital administration.

The conference will give practitioners in healthcare facilities an opportunity to learn more about the findings and recommendations of the NIOSH Alert, to learn about practices that have been effective in reducing exposures, and to interact with colleagues who have successfully put such practices into place.

Pharmaceutical agents are classified in the scientific literature as “hazardous drugs” if studies in humans or animals indicate that they have the potential to cause cancer, to result in  developmental or reproductive toxicity, or to harm organs in exposures at low doses.  Studies have linked occupational exposures with risks for various adverse effects in healthcare employees, including studies that have found higher-than-expected prevalence of cancer, leukemia, and reproductive problems among some groups of employees.  Factors for occupational risk in healthcare settings include the potency or toxicity of a given hazardous drug, and the extent of occupational exposure.

The workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, Texas.  Cost of registration is $275.  Additional information about reducing occupational exposures to hazardous drugs in healthcare is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hazdrug/default.html.

 

 
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