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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-065-1578, United Hospital, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
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 85-065-1578, 1985 Apr; :1-7
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for ethylene- oxide (75218) at United Hospital (SIC-8062), Grand Forks, North Dakota in January, 1985. The survey was requested by the management to determine if using ethylene-oxide for sterilization purposes posed a health risk. All employees (number not specified) in the central supply department were interviewed. Breathing zone ethylene- oxide concentrations ranged from less than 0.1 microgram per sample to 0.08 part per million (ppm). The OSHA standard for ethylene- oxide is 1.0ppm. All environmental samples were below the OSHA standard except three collected in the tank room behind the sterilizers. The tank room concentrations were 3.87, 2.71, and 7.50ppm. These concentrations originated from an old sterilizer. The sterilizer was not normally used, but was operated on the day of the survey to stimulate a worst case situation. None of the workers had any medical complaints. The author concludes that a health hazard due to ethylene-oxide does not exist at the facility. He recommends not using the old sterilizer until it has been refurbished and conducting periodic monitoring for ethylene-oxide with an infrared analyzer.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-8; Medical-facilities; Workers; Exposure-levels; Environmental-factors; Workplace-studies; HETA-85-065-1578; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical; Ethylene Oxide; Central Supply
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division