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Industrywide studies report of an industrial hygiene survey at the Cutler U.S. Army Community Hospital, Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, IWS 152-12, 1985 Oct; :1-30
An industrial hygiene survey of exposures to ethylene-oxide (75218) at Cutler United States Army Community Hospital (SIC-8062), Fort Devens, Massachusetts, was conducted in January, 1985. The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency. Breathing zone and general area sampling for ethylene-oxide in the Central Materials Supply (CMS) area was performed. All employees were given preemployment physical examinations. Periodic examinations, depending upon occupational exposure, were also provided. The only personal protective equipment used by personnel in the CMS area was polyvinyl gloves to transfer sterilized items from the sterilizer to the aerator. Respiratory protective equipment was not used or provided. Breathing zone ethylene-oxide exposures ranged from below the detection limit to 0.83 part per million (ppm). Short term exposures of 2.40 and 17.84ppm occurred. The OSHA 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) standard for ethylene- oxide is 1.0ppm. Area ethylene-oxide concentrations ranged up to 58.3ppm. The author concludes that except for the short term 17.84ppm exposure, which equals 1.1ppm on a TWA basis, breathing zone ethylene-oxide concentrations did not exceed the OSHA standard. Exposure potential in the hospital could be reduced further by improving work practices and installing engineering controls.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Medical-research; Equipment-design; Workers; Air-monitoring; Respiration; Workplace-studies; Region-1
Field Studies; Industry Wide
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