Evaluation of antineoplastic drug exposure of health care workers at three university-based US cancer centers

Thomas H. Connor, Gayle DeBord, Jack R. Pretty, Marc S. Oliver, Tracy S. Roth, Peter S.J. Lees, Edward F. Krieg, Bonnie Rogers, Carmen P. Escalante, Christine A. Toennis, John C. Clark, Belinda C. Johnson, Melissa A. McDiarmid

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Abstract

Objective: This study evaluated health care worker exposure to antineoplastic drugs. Methods: A cross-sectional study examined environmental samples from pharmacy and nursing areas. A 6-week diary documented tasks involving those drugs. Urine was analyzed for two specific drugs, and blood samples were analyzed by the comet assay. Results: Sixty-eight exposed and 53 nonexposed workers were studied. Exposed workers recorded 10,000 drug-handling events during the 6-week period. Sixty percent of wipe samples were positive for at least one of the five drugs measured. Cyclophosphamide was most commonly detected, followed by 5-fluorouracil. Three of the 68 urine samples were positive for one drug. No genetic damage was detected in exposed workers using the comet assay. Conclusions: Despite following recommended safehandling practices, workplace contamination with antineoplastic drugs in pharmacy and nursing areas continues at these locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1027
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume52
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Connor, T. H., DeBord, G., Pretty, J. R., Oliver, M. S., Roth, T. S., Lees, P. S. J., Krieg, E. F., Rogers, B., Escalante, C. P., Toennis, C. A., Clark, J. C., Johnson, B. C., & McDiarmid, M. A. (2010). Evaluation of antineoplastic drug exposure of health care workers at three university-based US cancer centers. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 52(10), 1019-1027. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181f72b63