Chemo Safety

The hazards of cytotoxic solutions and powders have been well documented. Many associations both locally and internationally have set guidelines for the safe handling of cytotoxic drugs. The guidelines recommend specific procedures and equipment that will offer maximum protection for the operator.

Workcover guidelines for the Safe Handling of Cytotoxic Drugs and Related Waste in Healthcare Establishments (NSW 1995) recommend during administration the operator should wear:

  • A particulate type respirator (not a surgical mask).
  • A long sleeved gown of impermeable material.
  • Safety spectacles with side shields or goggles.
  • Long PVC, surgical or purpose manufactured gloves. Operators not wearing special purpose gloves should be double gloving…

Also recommended is that:

  • Spill kits should be located so that they are readily available for immediate use at all sites where cytotoxic drugs and waste are handled, stored and transported.