Hazardous Drugs: Legislative and Regulatory Efforts to Improve Safe Handling

AnnMarie Walton

Seth Eisenberg

Christopher R. Friese
hazardous drugs, safe handling, guidelines, adverse effects, exposure
CJON 2017, 21(2), 254-256. DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.254-256

Several organizations have safety guidelines regarding handling of hazardous drugs. That said, only Washington and California have enforceable laws that regulate these practices. This article shares the experiences of three states—Washington, Michigan, and North Carolina—in advancing legislative and regulatory efforts. It also offers guidance to nurses seeking to improve the way hazardous drugs are handled and how and where to begin.


  • Safety guidelines for handling of hazardous drugs exist but are rarely enforced from a regulatory standpoint.
  • Federal agencies recognize National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommendations but defer regulation to state governments; a few states have succeeded in giving these recommendations the force of law.
  • Counsel is given to those looking to be active in legislative and regulatory efforts in their states.
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