The Antineoplastic Drug Exposure Monitoring Program is part of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the UBC School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver, Canada.
Antineoplastic drugs are used in treatment of cancer and other diseases in humans, and increasingly in companion pets. These drugs have huge benefits for to those suffering from disease. However, to healthcare workers (and to veterinary staff) who must handle the drugs every day, potentially for a lifetime, they present many occupational health hazard. Studies of exposures in healthcare workers have shown increasing rates of adverse reproductive effects, and cancer. Previous studies have documented antineoplastic drug residues on surfaces in pharmacy, nursing and patient-care areas.
There are no regulated exposure limits in Canada, or elsewhere. Variability of contaminants across surfaces is poorly understood making it difficult to develop sampling guidance. Nevertheless, monitoring contamination using surface wipe testing is now required by safe drug handling guidelines, such <USP 800>. Regular screening for contamination by AD will help to identify contamination levels, sources, pathways and determinants of exposure, with the ultimate goal to prevent of worker exposure.
Currently, we have the capacity to simultaneously detect the following 11 antineoplastic drugs from surface wipe sampling in order to better characterize where and how contamination occurs in healthcare, veterinary, and research facilities: