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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-303-1271, St. Francis Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Thoburn TW; Belanger PL
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 82-303-1271, 1983 Mar; :1-10
In response to a request from a representative of the International Longshoremen's Workers Union, Local 142, an evaluation was made of formaldehyde (50000) exposures at the St. Francis Hospital Hemodialysis Center (SIC-8081), Honolulu, Hawaii. Several employees were suffering from flu/like respiratory ailments. Concentrations of airborne formaldehyde (50000) at the facility ranged from 0.04 to 1.28 parts per million (ppm). Formaldehyde entered the work room atmosphere through a drain line and from three jars whose lids were not put on tightly. Cleaning the dialysis consoles also resulted in brief increases in formaldehyde exposure. A few of the workers did experience prolonged adverse health effects from formaldehyde, suggesting they had a hypersensitivity and/or allergic basis for this reaction. The authors conclude that a health hazard did exist from formaldehyde exposures. The authors recommend that the Lixivitron sterilization system be isolated from the patient area in case of inadvertent spills. Better work practices could be maintained if a specific individual were assigned to sterilizing the dialyzers as a primary duty. Workers should be informed about the risks of formaldehyde exposure.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-303-1271; Region-9; Hazard-Confirmed; Health-care-personnel; Hospital-equipment; Air-contamination; Author Keywords: Outpatient Care Facility; General Medical and Surgical Hospital; Dialysis Unit; Formaldehyde; Artificial Kidney Sterilization; Respiratory Hypersensitivity; Irritancy
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