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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-284-1536, Dialysis Clinic, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 83-284-1536, 1984 Nov; :1-14
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for formaldehyde (50000) and glutaraldehyde (111308) at Dialysis Clinic, Incorporated (SIC-8081), Atlanta, Georgia in August and September, 1983. The survey was requested confidentially due to the occurrence of multiple upper respiratory infections and skin rashes among employees. Formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde were used for sterilization and disinfection. Medical questionnaires were administered to 16 employees. The ventilation system was inspected. Average formaldehyde concentrations ranged from 0.09 to 0.43 part per million (ppm). Nurses who sterilized peritoneal dialysis equipment were exposed to 1.77 and 1.57ppm. The OSHA standard for formaldehyde is 3ppm. No airborne glutaraldehyde was detected. Leaks and spills in and around the sterilizing equipment and the lack of outside makeup air in the ventilation system contributed to the buildup of formaldehyde in the peritoneal dialysis clinic. Symptoms most frequently reported included runny nose, watery eyes, throat irritation, nose and eye irritation, and headache. The author concludes that a health hazard due to formaldehyde exposure exists at the facility. He recommends installing an outside makeup air system, sealing all fittings, valves, containers, and drain covers on sterilization equipment, and wearing respiratory protective equipment when formaldehyde concentrations exceed 0.5ppm.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Hospital-equipment; Region-4; Kidney-function; Air-sampling; Ventilation; Pulmonary-disorders; HETA-83-284-1536; Author Keywords: Outpatient Care Facility; Formaldehyde; Dialysis; Glutaraldehyde; Artificial Kidney Sterilization; Respiratory Irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division