Veille documentaire MTPH

Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Occupational diseases due to allergic and toxic chemicals in health care workers: fitness for work

Auteur     Michela Crippa
Auteur     G B Bartolucci
Auteur     F Toffoletto
Auteur     G Marcer
Résumé     The purpose of this review is to suggest job fitness criteria for health care workers exposed to sensitizing or chemical agents. These recommendations are derived from a comparison between previous documents on prevention and management of allergic and chemical risks in health care settings and updated evidence; the job fitness criteria and the main documents on these topics are summarized in tables. Glove allergy, in particular latex allergy, is still a significant problem but we should remember that a wide choice of alternative materials is now easily available; many different alternative health products are also currently available when an allergy to disinfectants or detergents is diagnosed. Hence the prevention of allergic diseases is mostly based on an appropriate choice and use of the gloves and health products according to the specific tasks and possible individual susceptibility; this meets the requirements of the « good health care organization », which translates into lower costs, if possible, as well as the best protection of worker’s health. Concerning chemical risk, it should be remembered that during the last 20 years the improvements made in work environments have profoundly changed the mode and the levels of exposure to chemical substances and the current recommendations concerning the management of workers exposed to anesthetic gases, antineoplastic agents and sterilizers/disinfectants significantly differ from those of early 1990s. However, the past prudential guidelines are still valid for formaldehyde.
Publication     La Medicina del lavoro
Volume     103
Numéro     3
Pages     187-197
Date     2012 May-Jun

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