Simulated exposure of hospital emergency personnel to solvent vapors and respirable dust during decontamination of chemically exposed patients

M Schultz, J Cisek, R Wabeke
Annals of Emergency Medicine 1995, 26 (3): 324-9

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the breathing-zone level of organic solvents and respirable particulates in a simulated hospital patient decontamination.

DESIGN: An adult-sized, clothed plastic mannequin was contaminated with a solvent or particulate, then decontaminated. Rescuers were exposed to acetone, p-xylene, iron oxide, or zinc oxide during decontamination. We performed breathing-zone air sampling on the two rescuers. Five trials were run with each chemical.

PARTICIPANTS: Two physicians performed the decontamination.

RESULTS: Measured breathing-zone concentrations for the chemicals tested were significantly lower than their respective short-term breathing-zone limits (P = .042, .043, .001, and .001 for acetone, p-xylene, iron, and zinc oxide, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The chemicals tested during simulated hospital decontamination did not pose a respiratory health risk to rescuers. This model may be useful in the extrapolation of breathing-zone exposure to more toxic chemicals. Because ours are preliminary data, the use of respiratory protective equipment during decontamination must be recommended.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.