Occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs: what about hospital sanitation personnel?

OBJECTIVE: Occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs (ANPs) occurs mainly through dermal contact. Our study was set up to assess the potential exposure of hospital sanitation (HS) personnel, for whom almost no data are available, through contamination of surfaces they regularly touch. METHODS: In the oncology departments of two hospitals around Montreal, surface wipe samples of 120-2000 cm2 were taken at 10 sites cleaned by the HS personnel and five other sites frequently touched by nursing and pharmacy personnel. A few hand wipe samples were collected to explore skin contamination. Wipes were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry for 10 ANPs. RESULTS: Overall, 60.9% of 212 surface samples presented at least one ANP above the limits of detection (LOD). Cyclophosphamide and gemcitabine were most often detected (52% and 31% of samples respectively), followed by 5-fluorouracil and irinotecan (15% each). Highest concentrations of five ANPs were found in outpatient clinics on toilet floors (5-fluorouracil, 49 ng/cm2; irinotecan, 3.6 ng/cm2), a perfusion pump (cyclophosphamide, 19.6 ng/cm2) and on a cytotoxic waste bin cover (gemcitabine, 4.97 ng/cm2). Floors in patient rooms had highest levels of cytarabine (0.12 ng/cm2) and methotrexate (6.38 ng/cm2). Hand wipes were positive for two of 12 samples taken on HS personnel, seven of 18 samples on nurses, and two of 14 samples on pharmacy personnel. CONCLUSIONS: A notable proportion of surfaces showed measurable levels of ANPs, with highest concentrations found on surfaces cleaned by HS personnel, who would benefit from appropriate preventive training. As potential sources of worker exposure, several hospital surfaces need to be regularly monitored to evaluate environmental contamination and efficacy of cleaning.
Auteurs (Zotero)
Labrèche, France; Ouellet, Capucine; Roberge, Brigitte; Caron, Nicolas J.; Yennek, Ahmed; Bussières, Jean-François
Date de publication (Zotero)
août, 2021