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Health hazard evaluation report: RDHETA-90-218-2079, Fairmont General Hospital, Fairmont, West Virginia.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, RDHETA 90-218-2079, 1990 Oct; :1-12
In response to a request from the management at Fairmont General Hospital (SIC-8062), Fairmont, West Virginia, an evaluation was undertaken of a potential health hazard from exposure to ethylene- oxide (75218) (EtO). EtO was used at this hospital as a sterilant for heat sensitive instruments, equipment and other materials that could be destroyed in an autoclave. Eight samples were collected and submitted for EtO analysis. Of those samples, five were general room area samples and three were personal breathing zone samples. Only one sample, collected in the sterilizer room showed any detectable amounts of EtO. No EtO was detected in any of the personal breathing zone samples. An infrared gas analyzer was used to continually monitor for EtO release during the sterilization cycle. The concentration measured inside the sterilizer room was limit of 1ppm for an 8 hour time weighted average exposure, but above the NIOSH recommended criterion of 0.1ppm. A worker was only exposed for a few minutes while loading the sterilizer and a few minutes while transferring the load to the aerator. The author concludes that employees at the hospital were not overexposed to EtO. The author recommends specific measures for controlling the release of EtO during the evacuation phase.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; RDHETA-90-218-2079; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Hospital-equipment; Medical-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: Hospitals; General Medical and Surgical; Ethylene Oxide; EtO; Sterilization
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division