NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-314-2152, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.

Almaguer D; Driscoll RJ
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 88-314-2152, 1991 Oct; :1-27
In response to a confidential request from employees of the Lutheran Medical Center (SIC-8062), Brooklyn, New York, a study was conducted of exposure to noxious odors from the hospital's pathological waste incinerator. The employees suggested that infectious waste disposal practices and the manner in which the incinerator was operated were unnecessarily exposing the workers to the hazardous materials. Two of eight interviewed workers in the Nursery, Pediatrics, and Materials Delivery Departments regularly experienced nausea, headaches, dry scratchy throat, and burning eyes. Tracer gas evaluations indicated that reentrainment of incinerator/scrubber stack emissions was possible under certain conditions but there were no documented overexposures to any of the chemicals evaluated. No written respiratory protection program was in place at the time of the survey. The authors conclude that there were no documented overexposures to any of the substances evaluated, but reentrainment of incinerator/scrubber stack emissions is possible under certain meteorological conditions. The authors recommend the establishment of a written respiratory protection program. The pathological waste incinerator was shut down shortly after this survey; recommendations are provided should the incinerator ever be restarted.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-314-2152; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-2; Ventilation-systems; Hazardous-materials; Combustion-products; Waste-disposal-systems; Health-care-personnel; Occupational-exposure; Biological-material; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Refuse systems; hospital refuse; incineration; metals; particulates; tracer gas; sulfur hexafluoride
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
8062; 4953
Source Name
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