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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-339-1863, St. Francis-St. George Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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 87-339-1863, 1988 Jan; :1-19
In response to a concern regarding lead (7439921) exposure among health care workers using lead containing steam sterilization indicators, an evaluation was made of exposures at the St. Francis- St. George Hospital (SIC-8062), Cincinnati, Ohio. Steam sterilization indicators used at the hospital (Surgicot indicator strips and tape and Tomac test records) contained appreciable amounts of lead which might be released by contact or during sterilization procedures. Personal breathing zone, area air, and surface wipe samples were taken and analyzed for lead content. No lead was detected in ten personal and general area air samples at a limit of 1.6 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3), well below the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (50microg/m3). Only one of 29 wipe samples from surfaces directly or indirectly contacted by indicators (including four from workers' fingers) was positive for lead. There was no evidence of elevated body burdens of lead in blood samples from nine technicians analyzed for lead and free erythrocyte protoporphyrin. The author concludes that, if the same lead containing indicators are continued in use, no corrective action is needed. If other lead containing steam sterilization indicators are put into service, testing should be done to determine if they pose a lead hazard to workers using them.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-87-339-1863; Region-5; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Health-care-personnel; Air-sampling; Blood-analysis; Hospital-equipment; Lead-compounds; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; lead; steam sterilizer indicators; health care workers
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