Surface contamination with antineoplastic agents in six cancer treatment centers in Canada and the United States.
The level of contamination by antineoplastic agents in drug preparation and administration areas in cancer treatment centers in Canada and the United States was determined. Sampling locations at three cancer treatment centers in Canada and three centers in the United States were selected (biological safety cabinets, countertops, and floors in and adjacent to preparation areas; tabletops, chairs, and floors in administration areas). A solution of sodium hydroxide (0.03 M) was spread over the surface of each area. The surface was wiped with one or two absorbent tissues, which were then stored in plastic screw-top containers. Samples were stored at -40 degrees C before analysis of ifosfamide content (U.S. centers only) and cyclophosphamide content by gas chromatography in tandem with mass spectroscopy-mass spectroscopy and fluorouracil content by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet-light detection. Measurable amounts of the antineoplastic agents were detected in 75% of the pharmacy samples and 65% of the administration samples. In general, the levels of contamination were higher in the pharmacy areas than in the drug administration areas. The pharmacy area at the site with the highest number of drug preparations had considerably more drug contamination than the other sites. The results were similar for Canadian and U.S. centers. Substantial levels of contamination from three antineoplastic agents were detected on a variety of surfaces in pharmacy drug preparation areas and drug administration areas in six cancer treatment centers in Canada and the United States.
Connor, TH; Anderson, RW; Sessink, PJ; Broadfield, L; Power, LA
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