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Occup Environ Med. 2018 Sep;75(9):668-674. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2017-104793. Epub 2018 May 14.

Development of a bar code-based exposure assessment method to evaluate occupational exposure to disinfectants and cleaning products: a pilot study.

Author information

1
INSERM, VIMA: Aging and Chronic Diseases, Epidemiological and Public Health Approaches, U1168, F-94807, Villejuif, France.
2
UVSQ, UMR-S 1168, University Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, F-78180, Montigny le Bretonneux, France.
3
ProdHyBase, CClin Sud-Est, Saint-Genis-Laval, France.
4
Faculty of Medicine, University Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.
5
Epiconcept, Paris, France.
6
ProdHyBase, Unit of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Pierre-Bénite, France.
7
AP-HP UVSQ, Equipe opérationnelle d'hygiène hospitalière, University Hospital of Poincaré, Garches, France.
8
INSERM, CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, U1209, Institute for Advanced Biosciences (IAB), Team of Environmental Epidemiology Applied to Reproduction and Respiratory Health, Grenoble (La Tronche), France.
9
AP-HP UVSQ, Occupational Health Unit/Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts Unit, UMS 011, University Hospital of Poincaré, Garches, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Healthcare workers are highly exposed to various types of disinfectants and cleaning products. Assessment of exposure to these products remains a challenge. We aimed to investigate the feasibility of a method, based on a smartphone application and bar codes, to improve occupational exposure assessment among hospital/cleaning workers in epidemiological studies.

METHODS:

A database of disinfectants and cleaning products used in French hospitals, including their names, bar codes and composition, was developed using several sources: ProdHyBase (a database of disinfectants managed by hospital hygiene experts), and specific regulatory agencies and industrial websites. A smartphone application has been created to scan bar codes of products and fill a short questionnaire. The application was tested in a French hospital. The ease of use and the ability to record information through this new approach were estimated.

RESULTS:

The method was tested in a French hospital (7 units, 14 participants). Through the application, 126 records (one record referred to one product entered by one participant/unit) were registered, majority of which were liquids (55.5%) or sprays (23.8%); 20.6% were used to clean surfaces and 15.9% to clean toilets. Workers used mostly products with alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds (>90% with weekly use), followed by hypochlorite bleach and hydrogen peroxide (28.6%). For most records, information was available on the name (93.7%) and bar code (77.0%). Information on product compounds was available for all products and recorded in the database.

CONCLUSION:

This innovative and easy-to-use method could help to improve the assessment of occupational exposure to disinfectants/cleaning products in epidemiological studies.

KEYWORDS:

cleaning products; hospital workers; occupational exposure; smartphone application

PMID:
29760172
DOI:
10.1136/oemed-2017-104793
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