Ventilation Surveys for Hospital Air Quality
The Guidelines for the Construction of Hospital and Healthcare Facilities promulgates standards for ventilation requirements in Hospital and Healthcare EH&S facilities, which are adopted and enforced by many states. To determine if your facility meets the specifications for hospital air quality, we conduct ventilation surveys to calculate the number of air exchanges per hour (ACH).
Personnel Exposure Monitoring
All employers are required by OSHA to monitor their workplaces for potential hazards. Medical facilities are at particular risk of subjecting employees to hazards that can cause health problems. Noteworthy chemicals specific to this industry include:
- Formaldehyde and Glutaraldehyde
A known human carcinogen classified by The National Toxicological Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens, formaldehyde is a common chemical used in medical facilities as a laboratory preservative, an embalming fluid, and as a sterilizer. The use and treatment of formaldehyde are regulated by OSHA. Glutaraldehyde used to disinfect medical and dental equipment, is also known to be toxic. We monitor formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde in tissue preservation areas, morgues, medical schools, and labs. Formalin is the most common tissue preservative and is a combination of alcohols and formaldehyde.
- Ethylene Oxide
Used as a sterilizer for medical supplies and equipment and supplies, Ethylene Oxide (EtO) poses several hazards prompting OSHA to regulate its use and handling. According to OSHA, “EtO is both flammable and highly reactive. Acute exposures to EtO gas may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and cyanosis. Chronic exposure has been associated with the occurrence of cancer, reproductive effects, mutagenic changes, neurotoxicity, and sensitization.”We provide testing/sampling for Ethylene Oxide in autoclaves and sterilizers, ensuring personnel and materials (such as cloth, plastics, and synthetics) have not absorbed the dangerous chemical.
Xylene is often used in histology labs and poses serious health and physical hazards. Inhaling the vapors or having the substances touch the skin can cause poisoning including respiratory irritation and nervous system damage. The chemicals are also highly flammable. We monitor for xylene, acetone, and alcohols and conduct auditing and training for safe handling practices.