A quick heads up: the latest issue of NIOSH eNews is available at
Articles of likely interest to the DCHAS-L audience include:
- AIHA John Palassis award article
- Nanotechnology update
- NIOSH and OSHA released a joint Hazard Alert on worker exposure to silica during hydraulic fracturing.
- Under the HHE Fatalities Report is a report of the death of a chemist in California. This is an instructive report-Language barrier, lack of training, lack of PPE and more
In May, 2009, A 56-year-old chemist received fatal chemical burns from mist released after he mixed sodium hydroxide with hydrogen peroxide. The victim was refilling a container of hydrogen peroxide with the incorrect chemical (sodium hydroxide) using a non-standard transfer procedure. The victim was not wearing any form of personal protective equipment (PPE). The employer did not have a safety and training program to address hazardous chemical handling, storage and use. The CA/FACE investigator determined that in order to prevent future incidents, employers who use hazardous chemicals in their work environment should ensure that specific safety and training programs are developed and implemented for the
handling, storage, and use of hazardous chemicals.
- The Hazard Evaluation Report on Chemotherapy Drug Exposures
Chemotherapy Drug Exposures at an Oncology Clinic
HHE Program investigators evaluated reports of work-related health symptoms at an oncology clinic, including upper respiratory irritation, headache, fainting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Investigators found platinum-containing chemotherapy drugs in most of the surface wipe samples, but not in hand wipe samples collected during the evaluation. Cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide were also found in some surface wipe samples. Investigators recommended that managers
- instruct employees and cleaning staff to clean work surfaces after chemotherapy drugs are used and at the end of each day.
- observe employee and patient activities in the checkout area to find where cross-contamination of chemotherapy drugs may occur.
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