LINDA S. FORST, M.D., M.S.
To the editor: The hazards of handling antineoplastic agents by hospital personnel are not mentioned by Patterson and associates (1) in their excellent review of occupational hazards in hospitals. Exposure occurs during mixing, administering, and disposing of these agents. In addition, disposal includes not only the vials and syringes but also contaminated materials used for cleaning spills and urine of patients receiving chemotherapy.
The need for regulation of handling is obvious when one considers studies reporting the carcinogenicity of these drugs in laboratory animals; second tumors arising in patients receiving chemotherapy (2); mutagenicity of urine from nurses who handle cytotoxic
FORST LS. Antineoplastic Drugs as an Occupational Hazard in Hospitals. Ann Intern Med. ;103:473. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-3-473-1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(3):473.
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