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Industrywide studies report of an industrial hygiene survey at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio.
Ringenburg VL; Morelli-Schroth P; 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 152-1, 1986 Apr; :1-28
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for ethylene- oxide (75218) in the respiratory therapy area of Saint Elizabeth Medical Center (SIC-8062), Dayton, Ohio in August, 1985. Short term ethylene-oxide exposures ranged from less than 0.01 to 0.80 part per million (ppm). The NIOSH short term recommended standard is 5ppm for a maximum of 10 minutes. The time weighted average exposure was below 0.03ppm. The OSHA standard for ethylene-oxide is 1ppm. Ethylene-oxide concentrations in the environmental samples ranged from less than 0.03 to 1.1ppm. Ethylene-oxide concentrations of 0 to 47.6ppm and 127.0ppm were found inside the sterilizers. Engineering controls consisted of dedicated exhaust ventilation on the ethylene-oxide sterilizers and aeration cabinets. Employees wore face shields when seating the ethylene-oxide cartridges in the sterilizer and cotton gloves when transferring sterilized loads. The ethylene-oxide sterilizer room was designated a restricted area and the amount of time employees could spend there was restricted. The authors conclude that the hospital had effectively reduced employee exposure potential to ethylene-oxide by a combination of engineering and administrative controls and good work practices. Recommendations include installing an audible and visual pressure differential alarm system and decreasing the amount of sterilizer room air that is recirculated.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Region-5; Health-care-facilities; Environmental-hazards; Breathing-atmospheres; Monitoring-systems; Air-sampling; Workplace-studies; Analytical-methods
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