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Chemotherapy drugs can prove hazardous to health care providers

While caring for, and in some cases, saving the lives of the patients for whom they are caring for, health care providers throughout the nation, including North Carolina, face hazards other types of workers can't even imagine. One such group of individuals is those who provide cancer drugs to patients. Not surprisingly chemotherapy drugs can lead to health issues to those who are not patients but are exposed to the drugs on a regular basis. Among other things these issues include fertility problems and rashes.

These issues are due in part to difficulties in removing anticancer drugs from various surfaces where the drugs are located. More specifically, at this point there is not one single cleaner that can clean such surfaces.

It appears that researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a product that can effectively remove the drugs from surfaces in a two step process. Called Hazardous Drug Clean, the product consists of packet of two different types of towlettes that when used in the correct order, can lift the anticancer drugs from the previously contaminated surface. The use of HDClean could reduce improve the safety for workers not only in hospitals and clinics where chemotherapy is administered, but in labs and pharmacies as well.

It is important that employers throughout the nation take precautions to protect their employees. Working to eliminate situations in which workers could become ill is part of that. When workers do become ill as a result of exposure to toxic materials, they may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Health Canal, "Towlettes clean up difficult-to-remove anticancer drugs from surfaces," Feb. 2, 2013

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