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Evaluating OSHA's ethylene oxide standard: employer exposure-monitoring activities in Massachusetts hospitals from 1985 through 1993

LaMontagne, Anthony D. and Kelsey, Karl T. 1997, Evaluating OSHA's ethylene oxide standard: employer exposure-monitoring activities in Massachusetts hospitals from 1985 through 1993, American journal of public health, vol. 87, no. 7, pp. 1119-1125.

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Title Evaluating OSHA's ethylene oxide standard: employer exposure-monitoring activities in Massachusetts hospitals from 1985 through 1993
Author(s) LaMontagne, Anthony D.ORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony D. orcid.org/0000-0002-5811-5906
Kelsey, Karl T.
Journal name American journal of public health
Volume number 87
Issue number 7
Start page 1119
End page 1125
Total pages 6
Publisher American Public Health Association
Place of publication Bethesda, Md.
Publication date 1997
ISSN 0090-0036
Summary This study characterized exposure-monitoring activities and findings under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) 1984 ethylene oxide (EtO) standard. In-depth mail and telephone surveys were followed by on-site interviews at all EtO-using hospitals in Massachusetts (n = 92, 96% participation rate). By 1993, most hospitals had performed personal exposure monitoring for OSHA's 8-hour action level (95%) and the excursion limit (87%), although most did not meet the 1985 implementation deadline. In 1993, 66% of hospitals reported the installation of EtO alarms to fulfill the standard's "alert" requirement. Alarm installation also lagged behind the 1985 deadline and peaked following a series of EtO citations by OSHA. From 1990 through 1992, 23% of hospitals reported having exceeded the action level once or more; 24% reported having exceeded the excursion limit; and 33% reported that workers were accidentally exposed to EtO in the absence of personal monitoring. Almost a decade after passage of the EtO standard, exposure-monitoring requirements were widely, but not completely, implemented. Work-shift exposures had markedly decreased since the mid-1980s, but overexposures continued to occur widely. OSHA enforcement appears to have stimulated implementation.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30065777

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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