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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-210-1862, Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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 87-210-1862, 1988 Jan; :1-13
In response to a request from the staff of the Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital (SIC-8062), Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an evaluation was made of possible ethylene-oxide (75218) exposures in the central supply service area of the hospital. Air samples were collected for both breathing zone and area air quality determinations, including 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) values and 10 minute ceiling values. All samples with the exception of one, 1.3 parts per million 8 hour TWA in general air, were below the limit of detection for the method used and below NIOSH, OSHA, and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists standards. Interviews conducted with six employees indicated that four of them had experienced occasional eye irritation, dry and sore throats, and rashes on their legs. Three of these workers felt that these symptoms were job related. The author concludes that overexposure to ethylene-oxide is not a problem at this location; it is recommended that consideration be given to relocating the sterilizer/aerator to a recessed area or separate room to isolate workers further from potential exposures to ethylene-oxide and to heat and noise as well. A medical surveillance program and environmental monitoring are mandated by OSHA requirements for persons exposed to ethylene-oxide. Gloves and forceps should be used to remove items from the sterilizer, and an effective maintenance program should be developed.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-87-210-1862; Region-6; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Hospital-equipment; Ethylenes; Oxides; Air-sampling; Health-care-personnel; Carcinogens
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division