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X-ray processor ventilation: small air flow, big result.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1997 Aug; 12(8):511-516
A tribute to Marjorie Gordon, who worked for better occupational hygiene for radiographers, was presented. Gordon developed darkroom disease in 1980 from chemicals used in an automatic X-ray film processor. She suffered from heart arrhythmias and tachycardia, sore throats, nausea, and extreme fatigue. In 1982, she had to stop working as a radiographer because of sensitization to the processing chemicals. A case history of a radiographer who developed a work related illness was reported. Three telltale signs that fumes were escaping from processors were recurrent odor in the area, leaking chemicals from tanks or pipes; and crystal deposits on processor. Control strategies were recommended for automatic X-ray film processors, including leakage control, ventilation, and respirator use. Problems at one hospital were eliminated by a direct exhaust approach in which fall processors were directly connected to the building exhaust pressure. Before the direct exhaust connection, the chief technologist in the medical imaging department suffered from asthma, sinusitis, and headaches. After connecting to the exhaust system, she smelled no chemical odors and her symptoms nearly disappeared. Emissions from most processors were greatly reduced by connecting the processor to an exhaust system with an air flow of 30 cubic feet/minute at a static pressure of 0.25 inch. Processor manufacturers need to establish and publish the direct exhaust air flow required to eliminate chemical odors and irritants for each model. It is recommended that existing processors be uniformly connected to direct ventilation systems.
NIOSH-Author; Humans; Respiratory-irritants; Radiography; Health-science-personnel; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Occupational-exposure; X-ray-technicians; Exhaust-ventilation
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division