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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-80-98-790, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 80-98-790, 1981 Jan; :1-5
Worker exposures to dimethyl-sulfoxide (67685) (DMSO) were evaluated at San Francisco General Hospital (SIC-8060) in San Francisco, California on April 30, 1980. The evaluation was requested by an unspecified individual on behalf of approximately 36 affected employees. Processes used to administer DMSO to patients were observed and several nurses were interviewed about DMSO treatments. The first time the drug had been used, several staff members reported headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Ventilation in the area was inadequate when the drug was used and the wall suction unit did not function properly. During the second DMSO treatment, the patient was placed in a well ventilated room and the wall suction unit was operational. None of the staff reported any adverse effects following the second DMSO treatment. The authors conclude that the use of DMSO in the hospital now is adequately controlled. They recommend that current DMSO administration procedures be maintained, the mechanical ventilation and wall suction unit be checked periodically, detection of DMSO odors be promptly reported, workers be trained regarding the health hazards of DMSO, and people who intend to have children during their period of employment be allowed to work elsewhere in the hospital when DMSO is used.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-80-98-790; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-9; Organic-solvents; Medical-facilities; Occupational-health; Health-surveys; Author Keywords: dimethyl sulfoxide; DMSO; hospital workers
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division