(1) Health care personnel who work with or near hazardous drugs in health care settings
may be exposed to these agents in the air and through contact with work surfaces,
clothing, medical equipment, and patients;
(2) According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
which is part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early concerns
about occupational exposure to anticancer drugs first appeared in the 1970s;
(3) Antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs have been identified with a number of
acute, short-term, and chronic effects, including skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage,
birth defects, liver and kidney damage, damage to the bone marrow, damage to the heart
and lungs, and various cancers; and
(4) In 2004, NIOSH published an alert on preventing occupational exposures to antineoplastic
drugs in health care settings. NIOSH urges that all hazardous drugs be universally handled according to standard
precautions as outlined in the alert, which includes recommended procedures for assessing
workplace hazards, handling hazardous drugs, and using and maintaining equipment,
as well as a list of “drugs considered hazardous,” which was updated in 2010, 2012,
b. The Legislature therefore determines that it is the public policy of the State
to provide for the appropriate regulation of the handling of hazardous drugs consistent
with the NIOSH alert, regardless of the setting in which health care is provided,
in order to protect health care personnel from potentially harmful exposure to antineoplasic
and other hazardous drugs.
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