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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-217-1884, Children's Hospital National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
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 84-217-1884, 1988 Apr; :1-29
In response to a request from the Services Employees International Union, Local 722, an evaluation was made of exposures to ethylene- oxide (75218) (EtO) in the Sterile Processing and Distribution (SPD) department at Children's Hospital National Medical Center (SIC- 8069), Washington, D.C. An initial survey was conducted in March 1984, a follow up survey was conducted in December 1985, and a second followup was conducted in May 1986, following repairs to the aeration chamber control system. In May 1986, 17 air samples were collected at six locations. No EtO was detected prior to a demonstration run. During the demonstration a concentration of 0.66 parts per million (ppm) was found in the mechanical room. During the first exhaust phase, concentrations around the system ranged from 0.28 to 0.39ppm. During the second exhaust phase EtO concentrations were near 0.1ppm. While the EtO concentrations measured during this visit were significantly lower than those which had been measured during earlier visits, the potential for exposure on a daily basis was still unnecessarily high and unacceptable for workers in the SPD department. The author concludes that the potential exposure to EtO on a daily basis presents an unnecessary and unacceptable risk. The author recommends that this sterilization equipment no longer be used, and that sterilization equipment with engineering controls which could limit exposure to EtO be installed.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-84-217-1884; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-3; Vapors; Inhalants; Health-care-personnel; Hospital-equipment; Author Keywords: Specialty Hospitals, Except Psychiatric; Ethylene Oxide; Sterilizer
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