Environmental and biological monitoring of formaldehyde inside a hospital setting: a combined approach to manage chemical risk in workplaces
Background: The safety of healthcare workers exposed to formaldehyde remains a great matter of concern for healthcare management units. This work aimed at describing the results of a combined monitoring approach (environmental and biological) to manage occupational exposure to formaldehyde in a hospital setting.
Design and Methods: Environmental monitoring of working spaces and biological monitoring of urinary formaldehyde in 16 exposed healthcare workers of the Anatomic Pathology Unit of a University Hospital in Southern Italy was performed on a four-year timescale (2016-2019).
Results: Values of aero-dispersed formaldehyde identified were on average low; although workers' urinary formaldehyde levels were also minimal, the statistical analysis highlighted a slight weekly accumulation.
Conclusions: Our data confirm that both environmental and biological monitoring are important to identify risk situations, in particular when values of hazardous compounds are below the accepted occupational exposure levels.
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