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Characterization of cleaning and disinfecting tasks and product use among hospital occupations.
Saito-R; Virji-MA; Henneberger-PK; Humann-MJ; LeBouf-RF; Stanton-ML; Liang-X; Stefaniak-AB
Am J Ind Med 2015 Jan; 58(1):101-111
BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers have an elevated prevalence of asthma and related symptoms associated with the use of cleaning/disinfecting products. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize cleaning/disinfecting tasks and products used among hospital occupations. METHODS: Workers from 14 occupations at five hospitals were monitored for 216 shifts, and work tasks and products used were recorded at five-minute intervals. The major chemical constituents of each product were identified from safety data sheets. RESULTS: Cleaning and disinfecting tasks were performed with a high frequency at least once per shift in many occupations. Medical equipment preparers, housekeepers, floor strippers/waxers, and endoscopy technicians spent on average 108-177 min/shift performing cleaning/disinfecting tasks. Many occupations used products containing amines and quaternary ammonium compounds for >100 min/shift. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis demonstrates that many occupations besides housekeeping incur exposures to cleaning/disinfecting products, albeit for different durations and using products containing different chemicals.
Health-care-facilities; Health-care; Health-care-personnel; Cleaning-compounds; Disinfectants; Bronchial-asthma; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Housekeeping-personnel; Housekeeping-products; Ammonium-compounds; Author Keywords: healthcare workers; cleaning products; cleaning tasks; disinfecting chemicals; asthma
M. Abbas Virji, ScD, CIH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Healthcare and Social Assistance
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division