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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

A Case Study: Surface Contamination of Cyclophosphamide due to Working Practices and Cleaning Procedures in Two Italian Hospitals.

Ann Occup Hyg. 2005 Oct;49(7):611-8. Epub 2005 Jun 17
A Case Study: Surface Contamination of Cyclophosphamide due to Working Practices and Cleaning Procedures in Two Italian Hospitals.
‘Acampora A, Castiglia L, Miraglia N, Pieri M, Soave C, Liotti F, Sannolo N.
Dipartimento di Medicina Pubblica e della Sicurezza Sociale,Universita degli Studi di Napoli, Naples, Italy;’

The efficacy of preventive and organisational measures implemented in Italy to prevent the contamination of cytotoxic drug preparation rooms has been investigated, and oncologic wards of two Italian hospitals were examined. The sampling strategy was based not only on potential sources of contamination but also on responses to detailed questionnaires on workplace practices and work organisation. Wipe samples were taken from different surfaces of preparation rooms, before and after the work shift, over a span of a month. Cyclophosphamide was taken as the marker drug that reflects exposure to cytotoxic drugs, being measurable by GC/MS. In one of the two hospitals (Hospital A), a large amount of cyclophosphamide was found, both before and after shift, on the workbench (median value, 2.55 mug dm(-2), before shift), on the floor between the operator working position and the waste bin (>10 mug dm(-2), after shift), as also on door handles and storage shelves. No quantifiable levels of cytotoxic drug were detected in the second hospital investigated (Hospital B). These results could be attributed to the efficacy of cleaning procedures and working practices. In fact, both hospitals were provided with vertical-laminar airflow hoods and the (male) nurses had attended special training courses; but in Hospital A, cleaning procedures were carried out without substances used specifically for the cleaning of surfaces contaminated by cytotoxic drugs such as sodium hypochlorite. Working practices did not include Luer Lock devices. Cyclophosphamide concentrations found in both hospitals, compared with the quantities of drug handled, gave evidence of the importance of the correct handling of cytotoxic agents as a major tool in reducing contamination levels. The results reveal the insufficiency of the risk management measures which do not take into account working practices that are prevailing, and stress the necessity for periodic environmental monitoring, indispensable for evolving effective procedures to prevent antineoplastic drug exposure.

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