Acute health concerns include skin, eye and mucous membrane irritation, allergic reactions, and hair loss.
Chronic health concerns include liver, kidney, lung and heart damage.
Pregnancy-related health concerns include spontaneous abortions, malformed fetuses, and infertility.
Ask your employer for a copy of their policies and procedures when dealing with cytotoxic medications. Also ask to review a copy of your hazard assessment, and review how your employer eliminates or controls the hazard.
Wear protective gloves made of vinyl or nitrile rubber. Wear two pairs of gloves at a time. Wear a long sleeved gown with elastic cuffs. Also wear approved eye protection and, if a risk of splashing exists, wear a full-faced shield. If the medication can become airborne, a properly fit-tested respirator, such as a N95 or N100, is strongly recommended.
If you handle biological fluids, excretions, contaminated bedding/clothing, or soiled equipment of patients who have received cytotoxic medications, wear two pairs of gloves, a protective gown, a properly fit-tested respirator or a face shield where there is a risk of splashing. All cytotoxic waste materials should be placed in a labelled bag so that other workers are aware of the hazard.
It is very important that AUPE also know if you've been exposed to cytotoxic medication and if you have filed a report-only claim with WCB. You can use our online Health and Safety Issue Reporting form to send your information directly to our Occupational Health and Safety department.Click here to report to your union
AUPE strongly encourages all workers who have dealt with cytotoxic medications either directly or indirectly and without any proper personal protective equipment to file a workers report with the Workers’ Compensation Board, as a report-only claim.Click here to report to WCB