Occupational Exposure to Cancer Chemotherapy Agents and Adverse Health Outcomes
Many cancer chemotherapy agents have toxic properties that can lead to secondary cancers in patients receiving treatment for cancer and are known to cause DNA damage and adverse pregnancy outcomes (e.g., fetal loss, congenital malformations). Occupational exposure to these agents was first documented in the 1970s and continues to occur, despite the issuance of safe handling guidelines in 1980s. While occupational exposure likely occurs at lower levels than those administered to patients or laboratory animals, the duration of occupational exposure is longer and may involve multiple chemotherapy agents.
As a follow-up to the NTP Monograph on Developmental Effects and Pregnancy Outcomes Associated with Use of Cancer Chemotherapy Agents During Pregnancy, NTP conducted a systematic review of the published studies of occupational exposure to cancer chemotherapy agents and adverse health effects in humans. In addition, this systematic review also summarized the prevalence and levels of cancer chemotherapy agents detected in the workplace.
NTP concluded that there is a moderate level of evidence that occupational exposure to chemotherapy agents is associated with increased incidence of spontaneous abortion, and genetic toxicity. Regarding exposure to these agents, NTP observed that detectable levels of cancer chemotherapy agents continue to be reported in worker’s urine and blood samples and in the work environment. However, some studies suggested that the levels of exposure have decreased over time with the use of exposure protection equipment and implementation of safe handling guidelines.
|Apr 18, 2014||Meeting Presentation: NTP Evaluation Concept - Adverse Health Effects Associated With Occupational Exposure To Cancer Chemotherapy Agents|
|Oct 09, 2015||NTP Protocol|
|Dec 07, 2018||NTP Protocol - Revised|
|Mar 01, 2019||NTP Monograph - Final (Abstract)
Preferred Citation: National Toxicology Program. 2019. NTP Monograph on the Systematic Review of Occupational Exposure to Cancer Chemotherapy Agents and Adverse Health Outcomes. NTP Monograph 5. Research Triangle Park, NC. National Toxicology Program (5): 1-200. https://doi.org/10.22427/NTP-MGRAPH-5
Meetings & Events
|Apr 16, 2014||
NTP Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting
Board of Scientific Counselors
Note on Accessibility: Persons with disabilities or using assistive technology may find some documents are not fully accessible. For assistance, email us or use our contact form and identify the documents/pages for which access is required. We will assist you in accessing the content of these files. NIEHS has helpful information on accessibility.