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Preliminary survey report: control technology for engineering controls in hospitals at Mercy Medical Center, Denver, Colorado.
Spottswood SE; Kercher SL
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 143-15a, 1983 Apr; :1-23
Gas sterilization and anesthesia administration operations at the central supply department and operating rooms (OR) of the Mercy Medical Center (SIC-8062) Denver, Colorado, were evaluated on October 28, 1982. The study was conducted to assess the efficiency of control measures used to reduce exposures to low concentrations of hazardous chemical substances. Gas sterilization with ethylene- oxide (75218) (EtO) was employed to sterilize heat sensitive equipment and materials in the central supply department. The primary engineering control used in the sterilization area was general dilution ventilation. In 11 ORs, 8 anesthesia machines were located to administer nitrous-oxide mixed with oxygen. Engineering controls in the OR included general dilution ventilation and local exhaust ventilation (scavenging) of the waste anesthetic gases. The authors conclude that the control measures for EtO sterilization are inadequate since dilution ventilation produces low velocity air movement insufficient to reduce EtO concentrations at the sterilizer release point. The waste scavenging system, coupled with work practices, are adequate to prevent waste anesthetic exposure in the ORs. Of particular note is the use of low flow anesthesia, which improves the effectiveness of gas scavenging.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Ventilation; Hospital-equipment; Employee-exposure; Laboratory-workers; Region-8; Worker-health; Equipment-design
Field Studies; Control Technology
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division