Assessment of the plasticizer exposure of hospital workers regularly handling medical devices: A pilot study

Eckert E, Kuhlmann L, Göen T, Münch F (2023)


Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023

Journal

Book Volume: 237

Article Number: 117028

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.117028

Abstract

Plastic medical devices, e.g. infusion sets, blood bags or tubing material, that are used manifold in the medical treatment of hospital patients, usually contain considerable amounts of plasticizers. Whereas several studies showed highly elevated inner plasticizer levels of patients treated with plasticized medical devices, little is known about the exposure situation of hospital staff. The present pilot study aimed to evaluate the urinary plasticizer metabolite levels of selected hospital workers of the blood bank (medical technical assistants, MTA) and of perfusionists that are regularly handling plasticized medical devices in order to estimate the work-related amount of the inner individual plasticizer exposure. The study subjects were asked to collect pre- and post-shift spot urine samples over the course of a working week, that were subsequently analyzed for selected urinary metabolites of the plasticizers DEHP, DINCH, DEHTP and TEHTM. Although the observed differences were rather low, a differentiated approach revealed a perceptible impact of the respective workplace environment on the individual urinary plasticizer metabolite levels. Thus, the group of blood bank MTA showed significantly elevated increment levels of urinary DEHP and DINCH metabolites, while the group of perfusionists, showed a considerable higher detection frequency of the main urinary TEHTM metabolite. All in all, however, it can be cautiously concluded by the results of the presented pilot study that a regular handling of plasticized medical devices by hospital employees (via inhalation or dermal contact) contributes demonstrably but yet only marginally to the individual internal plasticizer exposure.

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How to cite

APA:

Eckert, E., Kuhlmann, L., Göen, T., & Münch, F. (2023). Assessment of the plasticizer exposure of hospital workers regularly handling medical devices: A pilot study. Environmental Research, 237. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2023.117028

MLA:

Eckert, Elisabeth, et al. "Assessment of the plasticizer exposure of hospital workers regularly handling medical devices: A pilot study." Environmental Research 237 (2023).

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