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Industrywide studies report of an industrial hygiene survey report, Bayne-Jones U.S. Army Community Hospital, Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, IWS 152-10, 1985 Apr; :1-23
Area air and breathing zone samples were analyzed for ethylene-oxide (75218) in the Central Material Supply area of Bayne-Jones Army Hospital (SIC-8062), Fort Polk, Louisiana, October, 1984. The survey was part of a NIOSH industrywide study of ethylene-oxide exposures. Ethylene-oxide was used at the facility to sterilize heat sensitive medical supplies. Work practices were observed and engineering controls were inspected. Ethylene-oxide concentrations in the breathing zone samples ranged from nondetectable to 2.57 parts per million (ppm) and from nondetectable to 20.5ppm in the area samples. The OSHA time weighted average standard is 50ppm and the action level standard is 0.5ppm. Improper work practices such as manually removing sterilized goods from the sterilizer, not using gloves when transferring sterilized goods from the sterilizer rack to the aerator, and not using respiratory protection when operating the sterilizer were observed. There were no local exhaust hoods above the doors of the sterilizer, at the air break between the vacuum line and drain, or at the safety release valve on the sterilizer. The author concludes that breathing zone ethylene-oxide exposures exceed the OSHA action level. Recommendations include improving work practices and installing engineering controls.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Health-care-facilities; Industrial-processes; Work-practices; Protective-measures; Safety-practices; Toxic-vapors; Ventilation-systems; Region-6
Field Studies; Industry Wide
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