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Environmental monitoring and medical surveillance of health care workers who handle hazardous drugs (HDs).

Connor TH; Massoomi F
Improving safe handling practices for hazardous drugs. Mansur J, ed. Oak Brook, IL: Joint Commission Resources, 2016 Jun; :139-167,219-227
The environment·in which health care employees, such as pharmacy and nursing personnel, perform their duties is often contaminated with the drugs that they compound and/or administer to patients. Environmental contamination has the potential to expose workers to hazardous drugs (HDs). An initial step in a safety program should be to determine which hazardous drugs are in use in your facility followed by an evaluation of the workplace for the presence of HD residue. This can be supplemented with a medical surveillance program to evaluate any adverse health effects that might be related to workers' exposure to these drugs. The Self-Assessment of Improving Safe Handling Practices for Hazardous Drugs, a free online self-assessment tool for health care organizations, can be used to help identify opportunities to address for implementing or assessing the status of a medical surveillance program <a href=""target="_blank"></a>. This chapter will discuss the rationale for conducting surface wipe sampling for HDs, current methodologies, and interpretation and reporting of results to workers. It will also describe the current approach to medical surveillance for health care workers who may come in contact with HD contamination in the workplace.
Drugs; Hazardous drugs; Hazardous materials; Materials handling; Manual materials handling; Safety education; Safety measures; Safety monitoring; Safety practices; Safety programs; Health care facilities; Medical facilities; Work environment; Environmental contamination; Work practices; Worker health; Oncogenic agents; Pharmaceuticals; Surveillance; Surveillance programs; Medical monitoring; Health care personnel; Health care workers; Medical personnel; Nurses; Physicians; Pharmacists; Hazardous waste; Environmental health monitoring; Workplace monitoring; Health effects; Employee exposure; Exposure assessment; Computer programs; Sampling; Sampling methods
Publication Date
Document Type
Email Address
Mansur J
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
Improving safe handling practices for hazardous drugs
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division