Chemotherapy Drug Evaluation at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital

HHE Program investigators evaluated concerns about reproductive problems and hair loss at a veterinary teaching hospital. Employees thought these issues were associated with work-related exposures to chemotherapy drugs. Cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide were found in 4 of 44 surface wipe samples but were not found in air samples. Some employees reported symptoms that have been reported with occupational exposure to chemotherapy drugs but also have other causes. NIOSH investigators were unable to determine if the health effects reported by employees were work-related. Recommendations were made to managers regarding limiting employee access to the pharmacy, chemotherapy drug preparation room, and administration area. and using biological safety cabinets that do not recirculate exhaust air when preparing volatile chemotherapy drugs. Employees were encouraged to always wear the required personal protective equipment.

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