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Occupational exposures to aerosolized pharmaceuticals and control strategies.
Decker JA; Seitz TA; Shults RA; Deitchman S; Tucker SP; Belinky BR; Clark NJ
Scand J Work Environ Health 1992 Jun; 18(Suppl 2):100-102
Occupational exposure of health care workers during the administration of aerosolized pharmaceutical agents to patients was investigated. Ribavirin (36791045) has been used to treat severe respiratory syncitial virus pneumonia in infants and children, while pentamidine-isethionate (140647) has been used for the prevention and treatment of Pneumocystis-carinii pneumonia in immunocompromised patients, including those with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Personal and area air monitoring for aerosolized ribavirin was conducted during administration by different administration methods. Both full shift and post shift urine samples were collected from the nursing staff. Ribavirin was detected in the urine of 11 of 17 workers. Personal and area samples were collected during the administration of pentamidine- isethionate. The effects of the use of different engineering control methods were compared. While the concentrations of aerosolized pentamidine-isethionate within the treatment chambers ranged from 63.5 to 122 micrograms/cubic meter, all of the personal samples were below the limit of quantitation. Particle size analysis indicated that the mass median aerodynamic diameter of the aerosolized pentamidine-isethionate was less than 1.5 micrograms which is in the respirable range. Health care workers with pentamidine-isethionate exposure often reported symptoms of mucosal or upper respiratory irritation.
NIOSH-Author; Health-care-personnel; Nurses; Aerosol-particles; Occupational-exposure; Acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome; Viral-infections; Control-technology
Mr JA Decker, NIOSH , 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mail Stop R-11 , Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division