Nursing Notes

October 9, 2009

Toxic Chemicals Found in Doctors and Nurses | CommonDreams.org

Filed under: Nursing — Shirley @ 10:44 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Below is an excerpt of an article I found about how dangerous it is to work in a hospital setting.  This was an eye-opener for me, so I bet it will be one for you also.  Although I see that we constantly interact with various chemical substances in our daily work, I always thought that we were still safe.  Isn’t that what the MSDS is for? 

Now I find out that danger lurks in other, less obvious places at work.  Really makes you want to jump up and go to work, doesn’t it?

Please do read the entire article by clicking on that link at the end.  I purposely just posted a small part to whet your appetite for the rest.  After reading, why not come back here and tell me what you think?


New Biomonitoring Study Detects Four Chemicals on EPA’s Recently Announced Top Priority List
WASHINGTON – October 8

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in partnership with American Nurses Association (ANA) and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) released the “Hazardous Chemicals In Health Care” report today, detailing the first investigation ever of chemicals found in the bodies of health care professionals. The inquiry found that all of the 20 participants had toxic chemicals associated with health care in their bodies. Each participant had at least 24 individual chemicals present, four of which are on the recently released Environmental Protection Agency list of priority chemicals for regulation. These chemicals are all associated with chronic illness and physical disorders.”

The health care profession is asking whether we can reduce prevalence of disease by changing the way we manage chemicals. Nurses and doctors volunteered for this study because they believe it is their responsibility to better understand how chemicals impact human health,” explained Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD, MSN, RN, director of Environment and Health Programs, Physicians For Social Responsibility, co- principal investigator and a co-author of the report.

Other findings include:
* Eighteen of the same chemicals were detected in every single participant
* All twenty participants had at least five of the six major types of chemicals tested
* Thirteen participants tested positive for all six of these major chemical types * All participants had bisphenol A, phthalates, PBDEs and PFCs, priority chemicals for regulation by the EPA and associated with chronic illness such as cancer and endocrine malfunction

Twelve doctors and eight nurses, two in each of 10 states – Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington – were tested for the presence of six major chemical types used in the health care setting that are associated with health problems and are pervasive in our environment.

“Simply put, we are being ‘polluted’ by exposure to chemicals used in health care. This study demonstrates the urgent need to find safer alternatives to toxic chemicals whenever possible; to demand adequate information on the health effects of chemicals; and to require manufacturers to fully disclose the potential risks of their products and their components, for the safety of both health care professionals and the communities we serve,” added ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR.

The Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care report offers preliminary indicators of what the broader health care community may be experiencing. The project tested for 62 distinct chemicals in six categories: bisphenol A, mercury, perflourinated compounds, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and triclosan. The chemicals tested in the investigation are used in products common to the health care setting, from baby bottles, hand sanitizer, and medical gauges, to industrial paints, IV bags and tubes and stain-resistant clothing.>>read more here

Toxic Chemicals Found in Doctors and Nurses | CommonDreams.org

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