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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-217-1425, Medical College Of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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 83-217-1425, 1984 Feb; :1-14
Personal air samples were analyzed for ethylene-oxide (75218) (EO) in the respiratory therapy section of the Medical College of Pennsylvania (SIC-8062), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during May and June of 1983. The evaluation was requested by the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees because of concern over spontaneous abortions and menstrual irregularities experienced by employees in the therapy section. EO was used in a gas sterilizer located in the section. All 15 employees were interviewed and reproductive histories were taken. No detectable concentrations of EO were found. Recent improvements had been made in the ventilation in the vicinity of the sterilizer. One of the 15 employees had experienced the spontaneous abortions during her term of employment in the section. None of the others experienced any adverse reproductive outcome that could be connected with work in the section. The authors note that it is not possible to determine if the spontaneous abortions were associated with EO exposure. They conclude that there have been no adverse reproductive outcomes related to EO exposure. Further efforts to improve the ventilation of the EO sterilizer are recommended.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Reproductive-effects; Air-contamination; HETA-83-217-1425; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Hospital workers; respiratory therapists; EtG; reproductive health effects; miscarriages; spontaneous abortions
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division