The number of cases of cancer is expected to increase by 49% between 2015 and 2050.  There is increasing evidence that exposure to the hazardous drugs that effectively treat cancer through contact with contaminated surfaces in places where these drugs are handled, such as hospitals, outpatient facilities, and veterinary clinics can lead to adverse health effects. While short term effects include skin and eye irritation, chronic low level exposure have been reported to include adverse reproductive outcomes, cardiotoxicity, and genotoxicity.

Surveillance for environmental contamination of antineoplastic drugs has been recommended by authoritative bodies such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). There is general acceptance that surveillance is best accomplished using surface wipe sampling.

Dr. Susan Arnold and Dr. Hugh Davies will provide an introduction to the importance of this issue, how these environments become contaminated, and a strategy for evaluating the environments and surfaces to efficiently and effectively detect contamination where it exists so that prevention measures can be improved to protect worker health. This presentation is based on their year-long surveillance study in 2019 of nine cancer-care centers, generating over 20,000 individual exposure measurements.


Following this education session, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the challenges of undertaking surface-wipe-based surveillance sampling for anti-neoplastic drugs
  • Identify a surface-wipe surveillance sampling strategy for anti-neoplastic drugs in a clinical care setting
  • Describe results from a surface-wipe-based surveillance program
  • Summarize ongoing limitations and challenges in a surface-wipe-based surveillance program


Produced by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Minnesota Department of Health Division of Emergency Preparedness and Response. Subject Matter Experts: Anne Barry, J.D., MPH; Robin Benson, J.D., M.Ed.; Joel Wu, J.D., MPH, MA, HEC-C

This project was supported by a grant to the University of Minnesota, Public Health Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement: Academic Partnership to Enhance Workforce Preparedness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number NU90TP922188. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

Continuing Education Units

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Participants are eligible to receive up to 0.1 CEU or 1.0 (60 minute) contact hour; 1 CPH recertification credit.

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Section Title
Hazardous Drug Exposures in Health Care: Wipe Sampling Strategy Guidance for Antineoplastic Drugs
Feb 01, 2024 to Jan 06, 2025
Delivery Options
Self Paced Online  
Course Fee(s)
No Fee $0.00
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