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In-depth survey report: control technology for ethylene oxide sterilization in hospitals at Wooster Community Hospitals, Wooster, Ohio.
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 146-15b, 1985 Jun; :1-35
An indepth survey of control technology for ethylene-oxide (75218) sterilization in the Central Services Department was conducted at Wooster Community Hospital (SIC-8062), Wooster, Ohio in February, 1985. Industrial hygiene sampling for ethylene-oxide was performed. Engineering controls consisted of isolation of the sterilizers and aerators, general ventilation, and door controls for the load transfer operation. The door controls consisted of local exhaust ventilation hoods installed over the doors. Vacuum purges and fresh air flushes on the sterilizer cycle constituted the controls for the load transfer operators. All full shift personal and area ethylene- oxide exposures were below 0.005 and 0.2 part per million (ppm), respectively. The time weighted average OSHA standard for ethylene- oxide is 1ppm. Preventive maintenance of the sterilizing equipment was performed by an outside contractor. Area air monitoring for ethylene-oxide was performed every 6 months by an outside contractor. The author concludes that engineering controls work very well in limiting exposures and maintaining low ethylene-oxide concentrations at this facility. Recommendations include installing alarm devices on the ventilation systems, increasing the exhaust flow rate in the hoods over the sterilizer doors, and relocating the evacuation line from the sterilizers to prevent possible reentry of ethylene-oxide to the building.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Control-technology; Medical-facilities; Surgery; Sterility; Industrial-exposures; Exterminators; Field-Study; Malignancy; Tumors; Exposure-limits; Region-5
Field Studies; Control Technology
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