Health-care workers may be exposed to hazardous antineoplastic drugs—i.e. drugs used in chemotherapy—when handling them and/or when touching surfaces contaminated by them. Most studies looking at exposures to antineoplastic drugs in hospitals have been limited to select departments and/or workers with certain job titles. This may lead to an underestimation of the risk if all exposures during the circulation of the drug within a facility from cradle to grave (known as the hospital medication system) are not taken into account.
In this plenary, Chun Yip Hon, an assistant professor in Ryerson University's School of Occupational and Public Health, talks about his study of antineoplastic drugs and the hospital medication system. His results suggest that contamination is more widespread than initially believed and that a wider range of job categories are at risk of exposure to antineoplastic drugs.