Control technology feasibility study: the use of engineering controls in hospitals, preliminary survey report of St. Francis-St. George Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.
A survey was conducted to evaluate control measures for ethylene- oxide (75218) (EtO) at the St. Francis/St. George Hospital (SIC- 8062) in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 11, 1983. Information was obtained on the techniques and procedures used for maintaining low concentrations of EtO and measurements were made to determine worker exposures. The highest exposures occurred when the sterilizer door was opened after a cycle, reaching concentrations of 1,000 parts per million (ppm). The OSHA exposure standard is 50ppm. The sterilizer used in the hospital included a purge cycle after sterilization and a local exhaust ventilation system, as well as a system to provide worker exposure protection. The supply, processing, and distribution (SPD) department ran three or four EtO sterilization cycles per day. Approximately 17 workers were potentially exposed. Gas cylinder storage areas were ventilated to the outside and the processing room was ventilated and exhausted. Personnel exposures, equipment leak testing, and general ventilation systems were monitored. The authors conclude that St. Francis/St. George Hospital has instituted comprehensive control measures, the most effective of which is the local exhaust ventilation system. They recommend the hospital be included as an indepth survey site.