OSHA also regulates the use of ethylene oxide and glutaraldehyde. The Ethylene Oxide standard regulates employers to take measures to limit workplace ethylene oxide exposure found in pharmaceuticals and sterilizing agents. Ethylene oxide exposure can cause difficulty breathing, blurred vision, convulsions, and nerve damage.
Glutaraldehyde is a chemical used in disinfectants, medications, and preservatives. As a disinfectant, this chemical is used to sterilize surgical instruments and other areas of hospitals. Exposure to glutaraldehyde may cause throat and lung irritation, asthma and difficulty breathing, dermatitis, nasal irritation, sneezing, wheezing, burning eyes, and conjunctivitis. Workers can be exposed to glutaraldehyde through inhalation or skin contact. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done. OSHA medical and OSHA healthcare guidelines for medical offices contain best glutaraldehyde exposure and control practices.
OSHA Healthcare Guidelines for Medical Offices: Biological Hazards
Workers in hospital settings may be exposed to various common infectious disease hazards. Examples of infectious disease hazards include COVID-19, seasonal and pandemic influenza, norovirus, Ebola, Middle East