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Control technology feasibility study of the use of engineering controls in hospitals, preliminary survey report of Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Spottswood SE; Kercher SL; Burroughs GE
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ECTB 143-12a, 1983 Sep; :1-31
A preliminary survey of sterilization and anesthetic gas administration operations was conducted at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center, (SIC-8062), Cincinnati, Ohio on September 29, 1982. Gas sterilization procedures employed ethylene- oxide (75218) (EtO) to decontaminate medical supplies and equipment. Aeration of supplies and materials after sterilization was performed to eliminate hazardous residual quantities of EtO and its reaction products, ethylene-glycol (107211) and ethylene- chlorohydrin (107073). The principal engineering controls used were isolation, general dilution ventilation, and preventive equipment maintenance procedures. During the sterilization exhaust cycle, EtO concentrations ranged from 0 to 18 parts per million (ppm). The OSHA recommended limit is 50ppm. Since the greatest potential for exposure to EtO was during the exhaust cycle, special practices were developed to limit exposure. Engineering controls in the operating room included general dilution ventilation and local exhaust ventilation of the waste anesthetic gases. Ambient nitrous-oxide (10024972) concentrations ranged from about 5 to 300ppm, with a mean breathing zone concentration of 35ppm. It was concluded that EtO concentrations could be further reduced by using a local exhaust hood at the drain area of the exhaust cycle. While the anesthetic gas scavenging equipment was effectively employed, anesthesia equipment should be periodically checked for leaks.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Region-5; Ventilation; Field-Study; Hospital-equipment; Employee-exposure; Laboratory-workers; Worker-health; Equipment-design
75-21-8; 107-21-1; 107-07-3; 10024-97-2
Field Studies; Control Technology
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division