Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect Public Health. 2013 Feb;6(1):16-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2012.09.015. Epub 2012 Nov 24.

Assessment of exposure to ethanol vapors released during use of Alcohol-Based Hand Rubs by healthcare workers.

Author information

1
Infection Prevention and Control, University Hospital of Nancy, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the increasing use of Alcohol-Based Hand Rub solutions, few studies have quantified the concentrations of inhaled ethanol.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to assess ethanol exposure during hygienic and surgical hand disinfection practices.

METHOD:

Ethanol concentrations were measured at the nose level of a wooden dummy and human volunteers. Two systems were used in parallel to determine short-term ethanol vapor exposures: activated charcoal tubes followed by gas chromatography analysis and direct reading on a photoionization detector (PID). Exposure was assessed for 4 different sequences (N=10) reproducing hand rubs for simple surgery, nursing care, intensive care and surgical scrub.

RESULTS:

The ethanol concentrations measured were of a similar order between the dummy and volunteers. The concentrations obtained by PID were higher than the gas chromatography values for the simple care (45%) and nursing care (27%) sequences and reflected specific exposure peaks of ethanol, whereas ethanol concentrations were continuously high for intensive care (440 mg m(-3)) or surgical scrub (650 mg m(-3)).

CONCLUSION:

Ethanol concentrations were similar for these two exposure assessment methods and demonstrated a relationship between handled doses and inhaled doses. However, the ethanol vapors released during hand disinfection were safe for the healthcare workers.

PMID:
23290089
DOI:
10.1016/j.jiph.2012.09.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center