Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-076-1414, Saint Josephs Hospital, Denver, Colorado.
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 83-076-1414, 1984 Jan; :1-14
Worker exposures to xylene (1330207) and formaldehyde (50000) were investigated in March 1983 at Saint Josephs Hospital (SIC-8062), Denver, Colorado. The evaluation was requested by a hospital representative on behalf of 10 workers from the Histology, Cytology, Surgical Pathology, and Reagent Preparation Departments. Personal and area air samples were collected and employees completed medical questionnaires. Concentrations of xylene ranged from 0.01 to 0.21 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), compared to the OSHA standard of 435mg/m3. Formaldehyde concentrations ranged from undetected to 1.90mg/m3, compared with the OSHA limit of 4.5mg/m3. The highest measurements were recorded in the Reagent Preparation and Surgical Pathology areas during the tissue disposal process. Formaldehyde exposures in the Surgical Pathology Department occurred mainly during the disposal of used formaldehyde; exposures in the Reagent Preparation area and during tissue disposal were mainly due to improper work practices. Workers reported irritative symptoms suggestive of formaldehyde exposure. The author concludes that a hazard due to formaldehyde exposure exists in the Reagent Preparation and Surgical Pathology Departments, and during tissue disposal operations. He recommends worker education, improved ventilation, environmental monitoring, improved work practices, and use of protective clothing.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-8; Health-services; Health-care-personnel; Aldehydes; Air-contamination; Laboratory-workers; HETA-83-076-1414;
Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; formaldehyde; xylene; histology; cytology; surgical pathology; reagent preparation; tissue disposal; eye; noise; throat and skin irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health