Crump, who died of pancreatic cancer in September at age 55, was one of thousands of health-care workers who on the job was chronically exposed to chemotherapy agents for years before there were even voluntary safety guidelines in place.
Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) does not regulate exposure to these toxins in the workplace, despite multiple studies documenting ongoing contamination and exposures.
Studies as far back as the 1970s have linked increased rates of certain cancers to nurses and physicians.
NIOSH, a division of the CDC, were so concerned, they issued an extensive alert about handling high-risk drugs.
The guidelines, published in 2004, urge strict precautions, including use of impervious chemo gowns, double-gloving, use of sophisticated "closed-system" devices and specialized ventilation hoods, face shields and respirators, "clean rooms" and other precautions.
But the NIOSH guidelines outlined in the alert are voluntary.
Generally speaking, it's the larger academic institutions who have been adopters of CSTDs[closed-system technology devices]
Click on the following for more details: Local News | Lifesaving drugs may be killing health workers | Seattle Times Newspaper