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Development of a bar code-based exposure assessment method to evaluate occupational exposure to disinfectants and cleaning products: a pilot study

Abstract : OBJECTIVE: Healthcare workers are highly exposed to various types of disinfectants and cleaning products. Assessment of exposure to these products remains a challenge. We aimed to investigate the feasibility of a method, based on a smartphone application and bar codes, to improve occupational exposure assessment among hospital/cleaning workers in epidemiological studies. METHODS: A database of disinfectants and cleaning products used in French hospitals, including their names, bar codes and composition, was developed using several sources: ProdHyBase (a database of disinfectants managed by hospital hygiene experts), and specific regulatory agencies and industrial websites. A smartphone application has been created to scan bar codes of products and fill a short questionnaire. The application was tested in a French hospital. The ease of use and the ability to record information through this new approach were estimated. RESULTS: The method was tested in a French hospital (7 units, 14 participants). Through the application, 126 records (one record referred to one product entered by one participant/unit) were registered, majority of which were liquids (55.5%) or sprays (23.8%); 20.6% were used to clean surfaces and 15.9% to clean toilets. Workers used mostly products with alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds (>90% with weekly use), followed by hypochlorite bleach and hydrogen peroxide (28.6%). For most records, information was available on the name (93.7%) and bar code (77.0%). Information on product compounds was available for all products and recorded in the database. CONCLUSION: This innovative and easy-to-use method could help to improve the assessment of occupational exposure to disinfectants/cleaning products in epidemiological studies.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-01795610
Contributor : Beatrice Faraldo <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 18, 2018 - 3:58:13 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 5:28:55 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, September 24, 2018 - 9:21:06 PM

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Catherine Quinot, Sylvie Amsellem-Dubourget, Sofia Temam, Etienne Sévin, Christine Barreto, et al.. Development of a bar code-based exposure assessment method to evaluate occupational exposure to disinfectants and cleaning products: a pilot study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, BMJ Publishing Group, 2018, Epub ahead of print. ⟨10.1136/oemed-2017-104793⟩. ⟨inserm-01795610⟩

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