Medical surveillance for ethylene oxide exposure: practices and clinical findings in Massachusetts hospitals.
LaMontagne-AD; Mangione-TW; Christiani-DC; Kelsey-KT
J Occup Environ Med 1996 Feb; 38(2):144-154
A survey was conducted of medical surveillance practices for ethylene-oxide (75218) (EtO) exposure at hospitals in Massachusetts. Responses were received from 154 of 159 hospitals in an initial survey for use of EtO. Telephone interviews were conducted with central sterile department managers at all 92 hospitals which reported using EtO, and more detailed onsite interviews were conducted with 90. There were over 1,100 workers employed in sterilization departments at the hospitals using EtO. Of the hospitals using EtO, medical surveillance for EtO exposure was provided at least once by 62% of the hospitals from 1985 to 1993. Of 57 medical surveillance providers identified in the hospital surveys, 37 responded to a questionnaire concerning performance of OSHA required EtO surveillance procedures. All five medical surveillance procedures required under the OSHA EtO standard (medical history, work history, physical examination, complete blood count, leukocyte differential) were performed by only 65% of the medical surveillance providers. About 78% of the providers took a work history, and 76% performed a leukocyte differential count. Medical history, physical examination, and complete blood counts were performed by 97%, 95% and 95% of the responding providers, respectively. EtO related symptoms or conditions were detected by 27% of the medical surveillance providers. Results indicated that although EtO medical surveillance was widely implemented, performance of OSHA specified medical surveillance procedures was incomplete.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Medical-surveillance; Carcinogens; Occupational-medicine; Occupational-exposure; Health-care-facilities; Surveillance-programs; Medical-examinations
Environmental Health Harvard Sch of Public Hlth 665 Huntington Ave Boston, MA 02115
Other Occupational Concerns; Grants-other
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts