Scand J Work Environ Health 1982;8(2):94-107    pdf | Issue date: Jun 1982

Inhalation anesthetics, anticancer drugs and sterilants as chemical hazards in hospitals.

by Vainio H

In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the use of chemicals (chemical sterilants and antimicrobial agents, antineoplastic drugs, and anesthetic gases) in hospitals. The possible existence of occupational health hazards has often been overlooked in light of the great advantages provided by the use of chemical agents. It appears that certain hospital sectors, such as anesthesia units, sterilizing units and oncology units, require different degrees of caution and protective measures with respect to the handling of chemicals. The scientific evidence on which recommendations should be based is, in most cases, fairly meager; until more is known about the hazards, it would be prudent to minimize the occupational exposure to chemicals in hospitals.