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In-depth survey report: control technology for ethylene oxide sterilization in hospitals at Community MedCenter Hospital, Marion, Ohio.
Todd WF; Kercher SL; Mortimer VD Jr.; O'Brien DM
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 146-12b, 1985 Jul; :1-36
An in depth survey of control technology for reducing exposure during ethylene-oxide (75218) sterilization was conducted at Community Medcenter Hospital (SIC-8062), Marion, Ohio in October/November, 1984. Personal and general air monitoring for ethylene-oxide was performed. Ventilation measurements were made. Engineering controls consisted of local exhaust ventilation, sterilizer cycle modification, and work practices. The full shift exposures for the sterilizer operator averaged 0.24 part per million (ppm). The OSHA standard for ethylene-oxide is 1ppm. Short term exposures while transferring the load from the sterilizer to the aerator averaged 2ppm. There is no OSHA standard for short term ethylene-oxide exposure. Ventilation of the recess room was insufficient to contain all of the ethylene-oxide emitted during the chamber evacuation. Area samples taken in front of the sterilizer door during the evacuation period averaged 4ppm. The authors conclude that the control system during the sterilizing operation provides adequate protection for the workers. Peak exposures during the time required to transfer the load may exceed the NIOSH recommended ceiling limit of 5ppm. Installation of better drain controls and improved exhaust ventilation of the recess room are recommended.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Control-technology; Medical-services; Field-Study; Analytical-models; Quantitative-analysis; Respiration; Allergic-disorders; Exposure-levels; Air-monitoring; 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