Could a 6 yr exposure to Cidex, then Cidex OPA and other cold sterilization solutions contributed to the development of asthma and a mixed connective tissue disorder when previously I had no health problems
Cidex Glutaraldehyde is reported to significantly impact the respiratory system of persons working with the product when it is used without optimum ventilation (Massachusetts Nurses Association, 2002). It is particularly relevant to note that uncontrolled environmental exposures to glutaraldehyde are associated with increased incidence and prevalence of occupational asthma. Worker exposure to glutaraldehyde vapor concentrations exceeding safe and allowable limits puts workers at risk of respiratory illnesses, particularly related to irritant symptoms of the skin, eyes, nose, and lungs (Romano-Woodward, 2000).
Glutaraldehyde is a high-level disinfectant used in gastrointestinal (GI) lab settings since the early 1980s. There have been physical symptoms associated with glutaraldehyde exposure in employees using glutaraldehyde, particularly if the work environment does not have adequate ventilation systems. Even when GI lab environments have the most sophisticated equipment, there can be events resulting in workers developing physical symptoms like irritations to the skin, eyes, nose, and lungs in environments without proper ventilation.
There is also a risk for GI lab employees to become sensitized to glutaraldehyde; subsequent exposure to small amounts of glutaraldehyde can lead to skin rashes, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and occupationally induced asthma (White, 2001). Although there have been grassroots level initiatives focusing on worker safety in the GI lab, there are currently no specific policies protecting GI lab workers from glutaraldehyde exposure in unsafe concentrations.
Cidex OPA (0.55% ortho-phthalaldehyde) is marketed as a safer alternative to 2% glutaraldehyde for endoscope decontamination. It is deemed to be safer.
I could find no association with either product with connective tissue diseases.
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