Sampling for airborne fluorouracil in a hospital drug preparation area

M. A. McDiarmid, T. Egan, M. Furio, M. Bonacci, S. R. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Fluorouracil content was studied in air samples from a hospital pharmacy work area where a vertical laminar-airflow biological safety cabinet (BSC) vented into the work area was used for the preparation of antineoplastic drugs. The BSC was run 24 hours per day and used approximately 6 hours per day. During one 56-hour period and one 95-hour period, a portable pump delivering room air at 2 L/min was positioned 12 inches outside the BSC. Fluorouracil content in extracts from 0.5-μm Teflon filters housed in the pump was assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The assay's lower limit of fluorouracil detection was 0.2 ng/cu m air. In the 56-hour sampling period and the 96-hour sampling periods, 25.4 g and 25 g, respectively, of fluorouracil were prepared. No fluorouracil was detectable in the filter extracts. Use of an appropriate biological safety cabinet in conjunction with good aseptic technique and the recommended procedures for safe handling of antineoplastic drugs may reduce the potential for dispersal of drug into the pharmacy workroom environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1942-1945
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Leadership and Management


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