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Detection of low levels of urinary mutagen excretion by chemotherapy workers which was not related to occupational drug exposures.

Everson RB; Ratcliffe JM; Flack PM; Hoffman DM; Watanabe AS
Cancer Res 1985 Dec; 45(12):6487-6497
The excretion of mutagenic substances in urine of individuals working with cancer chemotherapeutic agents at two hospitals was studied. The subject population consisted of 26 workers, 14 nurses personnel and 12 pharmacists. A comparison group of 38 unexposed nurses personnel and pharmacists was tested. Total shift urine samples were collected and filter sterilized or extracted and tested for mutagenic activity against Salmonella-typhimurium (TA-98) and (TA-100) with liver S9 fraction from Aroclor-1254 induced male Sprague-Dawley-rats. Similar results were obtained for urine mutagenicity assays of samples from nonsmoking nurses and pharmacists regardless of their exposure to chemotherapeutic agents, thus providing no evidence for an association between their occupational exposure and urinary excretion of mutagenic substances. A large number of smoking subjects showed urinary mutagenic activity, as did a few nonsmokers. It was noted that negative results for exposed workers might reflect a lack of sensitivity of the mutagenicity test system used. These findings might also reflect the effectiveness of protective measures taken by the hospitals to reduce risk to their workers. The authors suggest that inconsistencies reported in the studies of mutagen excretion among individuals handling cytotoxic drugs may result from variation in the procedures used by hospital staff to dispense and administer these agents, and they recommend strict precautions for handling such agents.
NIOSH-Author; Urinalysis; Health-care-personnel; Nursing; Pharmacy-workers; Chemotherapy; Risk-analysis; Mutagenesis; Antineoplastic-agents; Microbial-test-systems
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Journal Article
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Cancer Research
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division