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Industrywide studies report of an industrial hygiene survey at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ringenburg VL; Elliott LJ
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 152-14, 1986 Mar; :1-24
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for ethylene- oxide (75218) at Good Samaritan Hospital (SIC-8062), Cincinnati, Ohio in July, 1985. Engineering controls were inspected. Work practices were observed. Seven breathing zone time weighted average (TWA) ethylene-oxide concentrations and 6 short term concentrations were below the analytical limit of detection. Thirteen area TWA samples were also below the limit of detection. One area sample had an ethylene-oxide concentration of 0.5 part per million (ppm). The OSHA TWA standard for ethylene-oxide is 1ppm. Short term (2 minute) samples ranged up to 131ppm. Gloves were not used when transferring sterilized loads. The operator had to lean in toward the interior of the sterilizer to remove sterilized items. The mechanical access room for the sterilizer was under positive pressure. Engineering controls that reduced ethylene-oxide exposure potential included push/pull ventilation systems on each sterilizer, a dedicated building exhaust from the sterilizer area, and a double valve hook/up for the line connecting the ethylene-oxide cylinder and sterilizer. The authors conclude that personal breathing zone ethylene-oxide exposures did not exceed the OSHA standard. The basic ventilation design is one of the best seen to date. Exposure potential could be reduced further by improving work practices and engineering controls.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Health-care-facilities; Region-5; Inhalants; Exposure-levels; Ventilation; Environmental-hazards; Toxic-materials
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