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Hazardous Drug Safety

Learn about the dangers of hazardous drug exposure―they are studied, documented and very real

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About 75,000 Canadians are occupationally exposed to antineoplastic agents. The largest occupational group are pharmacy staff including pharmacists, technicians and assistants according to the Carex. With changes driven by USP General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings and NAPRA guidance. 

This exposure is putting them at risk of both short- and long-term health issues such as headaches, hair loss, nausea, organ damage, reproductive problems,2 developmental impairment, genetic issues and even cancer.3

To address these risks, healthcare facilities need to comply with new and existing standards, guidelines and recommendations. With changes driven by USP General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings, facilities should use a closed system drug transfer device (CSTD) when compounding hazardous drugs when the dosage form allows, and CSTDs must be used when administering antineoplastic hazardous drugs when the dosage form allows.4


Why BD Hazardous Drug Safety?

The BD hazardous drug safety portfolio offers a comprehensive array of products—including the next generation BD PhaSeal™ Optima system, the BD PhaSeal™ system and the Texium™ system to help protect workers from hazardous drug exposure, and the BD® HD Check system to help detect* hazardous drug surface contamination for select hazardous drugs.** Backed by its vast clinical expertise and experience, BD also partners with healthcare facilities, offering tailored solutions that best meet their needs for safety, efficiency and cost. We offer ongoing training and education programs and product support tools and services to maximize their investments in protection.

*Surfaces with contamination at or above the limits of detection have 95% specificity and sensitivity

**Methotrexate, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hazardous drug exposures in health care. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Web site. Accessed February 23, 2017.
  2. Connor TH, Lawson CC, Polovich M, McDiarmid MA. Reproductive health risks associated with occupational exposures to antineoplastic drugs in health care settings: a review of the evidence. J Occup Environ Med. 2014;56(9):901-910.
  3. Hansen J, Olsen JH. Cancer morbidity among Danish female pharmacy technicians. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1994;20(1):22-26.
  4. U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. <800> Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings. Updated December 1, 2014. Accessed February 23, 2017.
  5. †For a select number of hazardous drugs: methotrexate, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide

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