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Common Substances in Hospitals can Cause Asthma, Report Shows



Indoor hospital environments might make people sick, according to a report released last month by Health Care Without Harm. It reveals that substances commonly found in hospitals – including chemicals used to clean floors and medical equipment, fumes from building materials, latex gloves, and other common substances – can trigger an asthma attack or cause the disease.


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Indoor hospital environments might make people sick, according to a report released last month by Health Care Without Harm. It reveals that substances commonly found in hospitals – including chemicals used to clean floors and medical equipment, fumes from building materials, latex gloves, and other common substances – can trigger an asthma attack or cause the disease.

The report presents information about asthma triggers and asthmagens found in health care settings, and shows how to reduce problematic exposures.

Key findings in the report include:

* The current state of the evidence indicates considerable cause for concern that substances commonly used and found in health care can cause or trigger asthma.
* Top hazards of concern include latex and biological allergens; disinfectants, sterilants and cleaners; and formaldehyde, found in chemically-treated fabrics, carpets, pressed wood and other products.
* Some hazardous chemicals identified in the report are of particular concern for nurses, including the disinfectant gluteraldehyde and the sterilizing agent ethylene oxide.
* Safer alternatives are available. The report provides detailed information about how to find safer alternatives.

To obtain a copy of the report, visit Health Care Without Harm's web site or call (703) 243-0056.




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  posted on 11/7/2006   Article Use Policy




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