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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-257-1791, Mercy Medical Center, Denver, Colorado.
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 85-257-1791, 1987 Apr; :1-11
A health hazard evaluation of exposures to glutaraldehyde (111308) during disinfection procedures was conducted at Mercy Medical Center (SIC-8062), Denver, Colorado, as a result of a request from management. Nurses at the facility used glutaraldehyde to disinfect surgical equipment, bronchoscopes, x-ray table tops, and other contaminated surfaces. The ACGIH threshold limit value (TLV) for glutaraldehyde was 0.2 parts per million as a ceiling concentration, equivalent to 0.7mg/m3. Area air samples for glutaraldehyde ranged up to 0.74mg/m3, and personal samples ranged up to 1.98mg/m3. All personal samples in the radiology and emergency departments exceeded the TLV. Interviews with exposed workers indicated that eye, nose and throat irritation and chest tightness have occurred during use of glutaraldehyde, particularly in small rooms. The author concludes that workers in the radiology and emergency departments have been overexposed to glutaraldehyde. The author recommends that exposures to glutaraldehyde be reduced by the following measures: use of local exhaust hood ventilation; use of two gloves on each hand; use of cartridge respirators if necessary; periodic review of work practices; safe work practice training; air monitoring; proper treatment after eye or skin contact; and provision of medical evaluations when adverse effects have occurred.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-85-257-1791; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Disinfectants; Medical-personnel; Skin-irritants; Eye-irritants; Air-contamination; Air-samples; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Glutaraldehyde; cleaning/disinfecting; eye, skin, and respiratory irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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