The bacterial fluctuation test and measurement of the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges were used for evaluation of the exposure of different groups of hospital personnel to cytostatic drugs.
Increased mutagenic activity in the urine was detected only in personnel working with inadequate safety precautions, e.g., lack of a ventilated safety cabin for preparation of parenteral solutions. Although such a safety cabin was used within the hospital pharmacy, increased mutagenic activity was detected in the urine of prescriptionists preparing parenteral cytostatic drugs. After a change of glove material and improvement of ventilation in the safety cabin, no work-related increase in urinary mutagenic activity was seen. None of the different groups tested, showed any increase in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges.
It is therefore concluded that handling of cytostatic drugs according to the issued safety recommendations including working in a well ventilated safety cabin, will not result in any enhancement of mutagenic activity in the urine related to work.
Occupational exposure Carcinogenicity Mutagenicity Urine mutagenicity assay Cancer chemotherapeutics
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