HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS IN THE NURSING CARE – REASONS TO STOP FUMIGATION IN HEALTH CARE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA indicated Formaldehyde as potential carcinogen and limits an 8-hour time- weighted average exposure concentration of 0.75ppm. Still many hospitals use the fumigation as a habit without much scientific discussion on hazards It is surprising that many people are unaware of the longstanding scientific evidence on the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde.

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Oct 06, 2017
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  • HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS IN THE NURSING CARE – REASONS TO STOP FUMIGATION IN HEALTH CARE  

Question to Post graduate education in Nursing European union                                                                                                There was much communications and knowledge spread on the Universal precautions to prevent infections from HIV / HBV/ HCV  in the past 2 decades after the onset of AIDS pandemic, it paid the good results, There is growing concern on the excessive  use of chemical disinfectants in the health  care areas can be of risk to human life and Nurses are at greater risk than anyone who continuously present in the health care environments The bad news is that if you work in healthcare, you are exposed to hazardous chemicals, Among the hazardous chemicals still used widely in hospitals are cleaning products, disinfectants, sterilant, and floor care products that contain toxic active ingredients, such as ammonia, chlorine, phosphates, alkylphenol ethoxylates, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, phenolic compounds, propellants, and petroleum solvents. In specific areas of the hospital, workers can be exposed to glutaraldehyde, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, methyl methacrylate, Freon, peracetic acid, or waste anesthetic gases. Pesticides, rodenticides, and fungicides are also used in hospitals. Unfortunately, the developing countries many chemicals which are banned in developed countries are doomed, in developing countries, today much of our hospitals use chemical disinfectants instead of cleanliness and hygiene

FORMALDEHYDE -  Formaldehyde inactivates microorganisms by alkylating the aminoacid and sulfhydryl groups of proteins and ring nitrogen atoms of purine bases.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA indicated Formaldehyde as potential carcinogen and limits an 8-hour time- weighted average exposure concentration of 0.75ppm. Still many hospitals use the fumigation as a habit without much scientific discussion on hazards It is surprising that many people are unaware of the longstanding scientific evidence on the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde. However, this had been detailed in five National Toxicology Program Reports on Carcinogens from 1981 to 2004. These classified formaldehyde as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” based on limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans, and sufficient evidence in experimental animals. This evidence was confirmed in a series of reports by the prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Its 2006 and 2010 reports explicitly warn that formaldehyde is “a known cause of leukemia in experimental animals — and nasal cancer” in humans.

“Strong” evidence of the nasal cancer risk was also cited in the May 2010 President’s Cancer Panel report, “Environmental Cancer Risk: What Can We Do Now?” Nevertheless, and despite this explicit evidence, a September 2010 Government Accountability Office report attempted to trivialize the cancer risks of formaldehyde on the alleged grounds that exposure levels are low or “non-detectable.”

Reference- Unrecognized Dangers of Formaldehyde Samuel S. Epstein Cancer prevention expert, Prof. emeritus at U. of IL School of Public Health, Chicago

Answered by Dr.T V.Rao MD  for online resources 

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Dr.T.V.Rao MD

A freelance writer, Clinical Microbiologist and creative designer

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