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In-depth survey report: control technology for ethylene oxide sterilization in hospitals at Bethesda Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mortimer VD Jr.; Kercher SL
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 146-11b, 1985 Jun; :1-34
An indepth survey of control technology for ethylene-oxide (75218) sterilization was conducted at Bethesda Hospital (SIC-8062), Cincinnati, Ohio in June, 1984. Industrial hygiene sampling for ethylene-oxide was performed. Engineering controls consisted of local exhaust and general ventilation, isolation, drain control by means of a ventilated air gap, and two vacuum purges and a 20 minute air flush on the sterilizer cycle. Full shift ethylene-oxide concentrations averaged less than 0.1 part per million (ppm). Short term exposures while transferring loads from the sterilizers to the aerator did not exceed 5ppm. The OSHA time weighted standard for ethylene-oxide is 1ppm. Preventive maintenance on the sterilization equipment was performed by an outside contractor. Some personal monitoring for ethylene-oxide, averaging once a year, was conducted. It was noted that the operators manually transferred items from the sterilizer cart into the aerator. The authors conclude that full shift and short period exposures to ethylene-oxide are well controlled. The exposures to the sterilizer operators can be controlled further by their not manually lifting the items from the sterilizer cart into the aerator. Sensors and alarm devices should be installed on the ventilation systems.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Control-technology; Field-Study; Medical-facilities; Health-standards; Gas-mixtures; Work-analysis; Exposure-methods; Work-areas; Quantitative-analysis; Analytical-models; Region-5
Field Studies; Control Technology
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