NIOSH to collect data on chem hazards 

How widespread are chemical hazards in health care? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) seeks to find out and is proposing an online survey, which would be targeted to members of professional organizations such as the American Nurses Association.

According to NIOSH, the survey will seek information on chemical agents that include aerosolized medications, anti-neoplastic agents, chemical sterilants, high-level disinfectants, surgical smoke, and anesthetic gases. It will ask about work practices and exposure controls and will collect information by occupation and by type and size of work setting.

In 2008, a web-based survey of 1,552 nurses conducted by the Environmental Working Group found that 52% have had regular exposure to at least six hazardous chemicals in their workplace for five years or more. There are no regulatory limits or monitoring requirements for many of the chemical agents.