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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-292-1811, Clark County Hospital, Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Zey JN; Elliott L; Mortimer V
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 85-292-1811, 1987 Jul; :1-33
A request was received from Clark County Hospital (SIC-8062) located in Jeffersonville, Indiana to evaluate possible employee exposures to hazardous substances while working in the central supply (CS) area. Symptoms expressed by workers included headaches, dizziness, mucous membrane irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, nose bleeds, fatigue, nervous problems, and respiratory difficulties. Workers had reported smelling a sweet odor at times. Air sampling yielded time weighted average personal exposure concentrations of 0.23 to 0.56 parts per million (ppm) for ethylene-oxide (75218) with short term exposures of 77ppm in the cart storage area. The OSHA standard was 1ppm, and the NIOSH recommended criterion was 0.1ppm of ethylene- oxide. Hydrochloric-acid (7647010) concentrations in area air samples were less than 1.0ppm; for chlorine gas (7782505), less than 700ppm for carbon-dioxide (124389). The lack of a dedicated ethylene-oxide exhaust and the existence of an overloaded exhaust system were noted. The authors conclude that a health hazard to workers from exposure to ethylene-oxide existed. The authors recommend specific measures to reduce exposures to ethylene-oxide, including design and installation of a proper ventilation system.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-5; Hazard-Confirmed; Disinfectants; Gastrointestinal-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Hospital-equipment; Medical-personnel; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Ethylene Oxide; EtO; Sterilization; Dedicated Exhaust; Medical Symptoms; Headache; Respiratory Problems; Nausea; Dizziness; Vomiting; Nose Bleed
75-21-8; 7647-01-0; 7782-50-5; 630-08-0; 124-38-9
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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