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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-365-1848, Memorial Hospital of Southern Oklahoma, Ardmore, Oklahoma.
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 87-365-1848, 1987 Nov; :1-9
In response to a request from the management of Memorial Hospital of Southern Oklahoma (SIC-8062), Ardmore, Oklahoma, an evaluation was made of possible worker exposure to ethylene-oxide (75218) during equipment sterilizing procedures. A total of nine air samples were collected for analysis, including three from personal samples. Levels of ethylene-oxide in three of the general room air samples were 3.25, 2.63, and 2.40 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3), which exceeded the OSHA permissible level of 2.0microg/m3. Breathing zone samples were below the limit of detection for ethylene-oxide. High levels of ethylene-oxide resulted from an inadequate exhaust ventilation rate during an aborted cycle and the fact that the drain pipe from the sterilizer was not enclosed sufficiently in the floor drain and did not have a local exhaust hood built over it. The author concludes that although these workers are not overexposed to ethylene-oxide by NIOSH criteria, there is a possibility of overexposure occurring if a worker goes into the sterilizer room during either an aborted or normal cycle. The author recommends that the problems with the ventilation of the floor drain in the sterilizer room be addressed.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; HETA-87-365-1848; Region-6; Air-sampling; Health-care-personnel; Ventilation-systems; Hospital-equipment; Toxic-gases; Author Keywords: hospitals; ethylene oxide; gas sterilization
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: February 7, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division