Health care workers who prepare or administer hazardous drugs or who work in
areas where these drugs are used may be exposed to these agents in the air or
on work surfaces, contaminated clothing, medical equipment, patient excreta,
and other surfaces.
Studies have associated workplace exposures to hazardous drugs with health
effects such as skin rashes and adverse reproductive outcomes (including
infertility, spontaneous abortions, and congenital malformations) and possibly
leukemia and other cancers. The health risk is influenced by the extent of the
exposure and the potency and toxicity of the hazardous drug.
To provide workers with the greatest protection, employers should implement
necessary administrative and engineering controls and assure that workers use
sound procedures for handling hazardous drugs and proper protective equipment.
The US-American NIOSH guidance (Preventing Occupational Exposure to
Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings) contains a
list of drugs that should be handled as hazardous drugs. The area of new drug
development is rapidly evolving as unique approaches are being taken to treat
cancer and other serious diseases.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated Appendix A in the
NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic and Other
Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings. This list includes drugs reviewed by
NIOSH up to June 2007.
AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)