Hospitals in many parts of the country are using a new cleaning solution called OxyCide to maintain sanitary conditions in their facilities. According to news reports though, workers who have to use this cleaner say it’s making them sick. For example, the report says the cleaner, which is a relatively new product, was selected as the primary cleaning solution in several Pennsylvania hospitals last spring.
Side Effects Reported
Since that time, workers say they’ve experienced a number of side effects from breathing problems to eye and throat irritation. One worker said it made his eyes water and it felt like “working with onions.” He says there is no relief unless you take a break and go to a place that is ventilated so you can get some fresh air. Workers say they are worried about the health complications that could arise from this product not just for hospital employees, but also for patients.
Last month, a worker filed a complaint about a hospital’s use of OxyCide with the Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency that regulates workplace safety. The complaint essentially raises questions about the use of toxic chemicals to clean healthcare facilities. Ecolab, the makers of OxyCide say the product has proven effective at killing certain bacteria that cause infections in hospitals.
Striking a Balance
While we recognize the importance of preventing infections at hospitals, which cause thousands of deaths each year in the United States, it is also important to pay attention to the safety and health of workers who clean these medical facilities. During the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed the incredibly important role not just doctors and nurses have played, but also the importance of janitors and cleaning crews at medical facilities when it comes to fighting diseases.
Every employer in the United States is responsible for ensuring employees have a clean, safe and healthy work environment. We hope OSHA conducts a thorough investigation into the use of this particular cleaning product and determine the potential harm it could cause to workers as well as patients in a medical facility.
If you or a loved one has suffered side effects due to toxic exposure, you may be able to recover compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent damage, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to better explain your legal rights and options.