Irritant drugs: teniposide

are cytotoxic at any point in the cell cycle. Experimental studies have shown that many antineoplastic drugs are

30

Safe management of wastes from health-care activities

carcinogenic and mutagenic; secondary neoplasia (occurring after the original cancer has been eradicated) is

known to be associated with some forms of chemotherapy.

Many cytotoxic drugs are extreme irritants and have harmful local effects after direct contact with skin or eyes

(Box 3.3). Cytotoxic drugs may also cause dizziness, nausea, headache or dermatitis. Additional information on

health hazards from cytotoxic drugs may be obtained on request from the International Agency for Research on

Cancer (IARC).

1

Any discharge of genotoxic waste into the environment could have disastrous ecological consequences.

Box 3.3

C

ytotoxic drugs hazardous to eyes and skin

Alkylating agents

Vesicant (blistering) drugs: aclarubicin, chlormethine, cisplatin, mitomycin

Irritant drugs: carmustine, cyclophosphamide, dacarbazine, ifosfamide, melphalan, streptozocin, thiotepa

Intercalating agents

Vesicant drugs: amsacrine, dactinomycin, daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, pirarubicin, zorubicin

Irritant drugs: mitoxantrone

Vinca alkaloids and derivatives

Vesicant drugs: vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, vinorelbine

Epipodophyllotoxins

 

3.1.6

Hazar

ds from radioactive waste

The nature of illness caused by radioactive waste is determined by the type and extent of exposure. It can range

from headache, dizziness and vomiting to much more serious problems. Radioactive waste is genotoxic, and a