10/06/2011

List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings to Minimize Exposure and Reduce Health Risks

Healthcare workers are potentially exposed to hazardous drugs, including
pharmacy and nursing personnel, physicians, environmental services workers,
workers in research laboratories, veterinary care workers, and shipping and
receiving personnel.

Hazardous drugs include drugs used for chemotherapy, antiviral drugs, hormones,
and some immunosuppressant drugs - all of which may have damaging effects on the
body. When these drugs must be prepared and administered, there are workplace
best practices that can minimize potentially harmful exposure. These include
the use of engineering controls such as biological safety cabinets, closed
system transfer devices, needleless systems, and personal protective equipment
such as gloves, masks, and gowns. In order to use this equipment appropriately
and effectively, healthcare workers need to know which drugs pose a hazard.
Exposure to hazardous drugs may occur through inhalation, skin absorption,
ingestion, or injection. Adverse health effects from hazardous drug exposure
may include harm to internal organs, damage to the reproductive system, genetic
damage, birth defects, and cancer.

Starting in 2000, the US American National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) began working with multiple partners and stakeholders to
address the issue of occupational exposure to hazardous drugs. The NIOSH
Hazardous Drug Committee - with representatives from nursing and pharmacy
professional associations, federal agencies, pharmaceutical companies, health
and safety professionals, manufacturers of safety equipment, and
academia - developed recommendations for how to minimize exposure when working
with hazardous drugs. In 2004, NIOSH published a NIOSH Alert and list of
hazardous drugs with active input from partners in the healthcare industry, the
pharmaceutical industry, and federal agencies. The list was updated in 2010 and
will be updated periodically as new drugs become available.

More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)