Seth Eisenberg Discusses New Methods of Reducing Hazardous Drug–Contaminated Toilet Aerosols in Hospital Setting


Seth Eisenberg, ASN, RN, OCN, BMTCN, emphasizes the importance of reducing nurse exposure to hazardous drugs—and ongoing research efforts to improve nursing safety.

In this episode of The Vitals, Seth Eisenberg, ASN, RN, OCN, BMTCN, discusses ongoing research efforts to quantify the value of toilet seat covers in oncology care settings.

As Eisenberg explains, health care professionals who care for patients with cancer are at an increased risk of developing health issues because of their chronic exposure to the hazardous drugs. Specifically, the bathroom represents a repeated source of exposure, as this is where residue from these harmful substances is often found. To that end, Eisenberg, and a co-investigator, sought to test the efficacy of 2 interventions designed to reduce the spread of hospital toilet contaminants.1,2

“Both interventions were virtually equal in effectiveness,” he says. “They reduced the particles by at least 99%.”

Episode Highlights

“ONS has been recommending using plastic-backed pads for covering toilets for patients getting chemotherapy for a long time, [but] there’s really not been a lot of evidence on that.” Time stamp (TS) 1:46

“We actually did the testing at 2 heights, we [tested] right above the toilet level and at 40 inches. That 40-inch area was chosen because that is within what we call the inhalation zone.” TS 4:03

“It is not just a single exposure to anything, that is a problem. It is the chronic exposure. You get nurses that stay in this profession for a long time, oncology nurses tend to like it and they stay— so a nurse [that] has been there 20, 30, [or] 40 years, constantly flushing a toilet, is going to be constantly exposed.” TS 4:16

Oncology Nursing News® Articles:

Video Interviews:


  1. Eisenberg S, Cai C. A comparison of plastic-backed pads to Splashblocker in reducing toilet aerosols. Presented at: 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress; April 27-May 1, 2022; San Antonio, TX. Accessed April 25, 2023.
  2. Eisenberg S, Cai Changjie. Comparing two methods of reducing hospital toilet aerosols. Clin J Oncol Nurse. 2023;27(2):191-197. doi:10.1188/23.CJON.191-197
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