Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2008 17:25:19 -0400
Reply-To: Clara Rosalia Alvarez <ralvarez**At_Symbol_Here**RTN.USON.MX>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Clara Rosalia Alvarez <ralvarez**At_Symbol_Here**RTN.USON.MX>
Subject: Alternative assessment study
         Dear ACS Div-CHAS members,
          We are planning to do an alternatives assessment study to
substitute or reduce the use of H2E (AHA/EPA) high priority laboratory
chemicals in Clinical Laboratories. We have a direct contact with the
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Therefore to focus in ASCP
programs is convenient (main reason to study clinical labs).
         H2E (AHA/EPA) high priority laboratory chemicals list includes
acetone, americlear, Arsenic, Carbon tetrachloride Chloroform, Chromic acid,
Chromium trioxide,  Di (ethylhexyl)phtalate (DEHP), Ethanol,  Formaldehyde,
Mercuric chloride,  Mercuric nitrate, Mercuric oxide,  Mercury
((o-carboxyphenyl)thio)ethyl sodium salt    (Thimerosal), Methyl alcohol,
Phenylmercuric acetate (PMA), Phenol, Potassium cyanide,  Potassium
ferrocyanide,  Sodium azide, Sodium cyanide, 1,1, trichloroethane and
         I have had some interviews with clinical lab managers and Clinical
Sciences Professors. One opinion is that if these chemicals are currently in
use is because safer alternatives may not exist. I think that this is not
necessarily true. My sense is that automation and the use of diagnostic test
kits have reduced many exposures to toxic chemicals but it can be more
opportunities for substitution.
         We also did a pilot survey and ask clinical laboratory managers
about the use of H2E (AHA/EPA) high priority laboratory chemicals and
associated tests. According to our experience from this pilot survey, we
found that we need to do more specific questions if we want to get response
from them. I mean, we need to ask close ended questions and give to the
survey participants a list of tests or processes where these chemicals are
used, so they only have to mark the response. 
         The point is to find out where these H2E AHA/EPA high priority
laboratory chemicals are currently in use in clinical labs and identify the
associated test(s)or process(es). As I have been working on this idea I have
not found good information to establish the most frequently tests or
processes where these chemicals are used in Clinical Labs.
         Pathology lab would be an opportunity to study due to the use of
high volume of solvents; however, some work has already been done with the
main chemicals used there (i.e. Xylene and formaldehyde). 
         Does anyone have any advice? 

Rossy Alvarez
Doctoral candidate
Work Environment Department

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