Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-412-L2054, Lederle Laboratories, Pearl River, New York.
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union, a visit was made to Lederle Laboratories, Pearl River, New York, to investigate possible hazardous working conditions at that site. Workers were concerned over two women who had worked with Thiotepa (52244), a cancer chemotherapeutic agent, and given birth to children with similar heart defects. Approximately 50 workers were involved in the packaging of Thiotepa. A site visit and medical interviews with employees were conducted. Observations during the site visit raised some concerns, including the potential for exposure to Thiotepa powder and vapor, the adequacy of existing personal protective equipment, the poor adherence to the appropriate use of personal protective equipment during clean up operations, the performance of quality control duties in an area where other unprotected workers were located, the lack of a barrier separating the Thiotepa capping area and the adjacent hallway, and the potential for reproductive toxicity. Thiotepa was found to exist in the air at room temperature in both particulate and vapor phases. It was not possible to determine whether the birth defects were caused by exposure to Thiotepa. The authors recommend specific measures to reduce exposure to Thiotepa.