New Support Group for Health Care Workers Exposed to Chemicals
A group of former nurses led by Janet Kenepp and Sharon Sowers from Pennsylvania is creating a support group to help other health care workers who have been exposed to the chemical glutaraldehyde, a highly toxic cold sterilant used to clean medical instruments.
The chemical is used in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctor's offices, X-ray facilities, and dental offices. Health care workers may experience adverse health effects if not properly protected or are not made aware of safe handling procedures.
People exposed to glutaraldehyde have reported a spectrum of health effects including shortness of breath and asthma; skin rashes; headaches; nasal burning; nosebleeds; arrhythmias; and nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The group, which has yet to be named, wants to push for increased "sponse among the government agencies which regulate the chemical, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Just as importantly, the support group plans to dialogue with health care workers exposed to glutaraldehyde to share information, raise awareness about the issue, and to advocate for better treatment of those exposed.
To contact the group, please write to:
157 Maple Drive
New Holland, PA 17557
1308 Deer Lane
Lancaster, PA 17601