An occupational exposure limit (OEL) approach to protect home healthcare workers exposed to common nebulized drugs

Publication date: Available online 29 April 2019Source: Regulatory Toxicology and PharmacologyAuthor(s): Evan Frank, Simileoluwa Ishau, Andrew Maier, Susan Reutman, John F. ReichardAbstractHome healthcare is a growing area of employment. Assessment of occupational health risks to home health care workers (HHCWs) is important because in many cases the unique characteristics of the home environment do not facilitate the level of exposure control afforded to caregivers in hospitals and other fixed patient care sites. This assessment is focused on health risks to HHCWs from exposure to pharmaceutical drugs used to treat asthma and other respiratory diseases, which are commonly administered to patients in aerosolized form via nebulizers. We developed risk-based exposure limits for workers in the form of occupational exposure limits (OEL) values for exposure to nebulized forms of three drugs most commonly administered by this method: albuterol, ipratropium, and budesonide. The derived OEL for albuterol was 2 μg/day, for ipratropium was 30 μg/day, and for budesonide was 8 μg/day. These OELs were derived based on human effect data and adjusted for pharmacokinetic variability and areas of uncertainty relevant to the underlying data (human and non-human) available for each drug. The resulting OEL values provide an input to the occupational risk assessment process to allow for comparisons to HHCW exposure that will guide risk management and exposure control decisions.
Source: Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology - Category: Toxicology Source Type: research

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