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NIOSH updates hazardous drugs
First update since 2004 adds 21 drugs
In the first update of a hazardous drug alert since 2004, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health added 21 drugs to the list of drugs that may pose an occupational risk to health care workers.
Anti-neoplastic agents are on the list, as are some new medications that could be absorbed through occupational exposure. "Some have severe reproductive effects. Some might produce skin irritation," says Thomas Connor, PhD, research biologist with NIOSH in Cincinnati.
These are new drugs or had new warnings during the years 2004 to 2007. NIOSH is already working on another update for 2007 to 2010.
Drugs are considered hazardous based on six criteria: Carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, reproductive effects, organ toxicity at low doses, and a structural similarity to another hazardous drug. The list is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2010-167/.