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NIOSH reports chemotherapy drug exposures to oncology clinic staff

Concerns voiced by staff at an oncology clinic can help protect your workers, who may also handle hazardous drugs.

NIOSH posted a new Health Hazard Report prompted by a request from a Florida oncology clinic where staff members complained about upper respiratory irritation, headache, fainting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

The investigation revealed “platinum-containing chemotherapy drugs in most of the surface wipe samples, but not in hand wipe samples collected during the evaluation. Cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide were also found in some surface wipe samples,” according to NIOSH.

Among the numerous recommendations for the employer and staff members to enact were:

Read Chemotherapy Drug Exposures at an Oncology Clinic [1] for more details about what NIOSH found and additional recommendations for healthcare facilities with similar occupational hazards.

Also, download the free Handling Hazardous Drugs Safely Checklist from the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Tools page by clicking here. [2]