HAZARDOUS DRUG EXPOSURES IN HEALTHCARE
NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2016
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2016-161
Managing Hazardous Drug Exposures: Information for Healthcare Settings
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2023-130 (April 2023)
Who is at risk?
Healthcare workers who prepare or administer hazardous drugs (e.g., some cancer therapy, antiviral, hormone therapy, and bioengineered agents) or who work in areas where these drugs are used may be exposed to these agents in the workplace. About 8 million U.S. healthcare workers are potentially exposed to hazardous drugs, including pharmacy and nursing personnel, physicians, operating room personnel, environmental services workers, workers in research laboratories, veterinary care workers, and shipping and receiving personnel.
Protecting yourself while handling hazardous drugs
Acute and chronic health effects
Published studies have shown that workplace exposures to hazardous drugs can cause both acute and chronic health effects such as skin rashes, adverse reproductive outcomes(including infertility, spontaneous abortions, and congenital
malformations), and possibly leukemia and other cancers. The health risk to a worker depends on how much exposure the worker has to these drugs and the toxicity of the drugs.
More on health effects
In 2020, NIOSH requested public comments on the updated draft NIOSH List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2020, the draft NIOSH Procedures for Developing the NIOSH List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, and the draft Managing Hazardous Drugs Exposures: Information for Healthcare Settings. There was a 60-day public comment period open from May 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2020. The NIOSH Procedures for Developing the NIOSH List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings and Managing Hazardous Drugs Exposures: Information for Healthcare Settings have been published. When the NIOSH List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2023, has been finalized it will be published to the NIOSH website.