Evidence of the exposure risks to cytotoxic drugs

In an article published on Hospital Pharmacy Europe, No 49 March / April 2010, written by Christine Clark is given the recent study conducted by Melissa McDiarmid and Thomas Connor (respectively a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore and biological researcher at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – NIOSH – Cincinnati) on oncology and pharmacy staff exposure to cytotoxic drugs.
The research involving three U.S. university hospitals specialized in cancer care, has put forward new evidence on the risks related to anticancer drugs handling.
The study has proved to be innovative for the investigation of the genotoxic effects of these drugs on operators. The data obtained were complemented by traditional measures of surfaces contamination, air or fluids; in a number of operators, damages to chromosomes 5 or 7 have been associated with secondary malignancies due to chemotherapy (eg.: myelodysplasia or acute myeloid leukemia). The pharmacy has proved to be the most exposed place (75% of samples positive, versus 43% recorded in the departments) because of the number of transactions carried out on drugs.
The two scientists have also shown how the biological exposure to genotoxic agents occurs despite the use of individual protection measures and the rules of good preparation are followed.

Here the complete article via free registration.

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