Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 105–110 | Cite as

Suspended particle and drug ingredient concentrations in hospital dispensaries and implications for pharmacists’ working environments

  • Ryoichi Inaba
  • Atsushi Hioki
  • Yoshihiro Kondo
  • Hiroki Nakamura
  • Mitsuhiro Nakamura
Regular Article



The aim of this study was to assess the present status of working environments for pharmacists, including the concentrations of suspended particles and suspended drug ingredients in dispensaries.


We conducted a survey on the work processes and working environment in 15 hospital dispensaries, and measured the concentrations of suspended particles and suspended drug ingredients using digital dust counter and high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), respectively. Of 25 types of powdered drugs that were frequently handled in the 15 dispensaries surveyed, 11 could be quantitatively determined.


The amounts of suspended particles were relatively high, but below the reference value, in three dispensaries without dust collectors. The sedative-hypnotic drug zopiclone was detected in the suspended particles at one dispensary that was not equipped with dust collectors, and the antipyretic and analgesic drug acetaminophen was detected in two dispensaries equipped with dust collectors. There was no correlation between the daily number of prescriptions containing powdered drugs and the concentration of suspended particles in dispensaries.


On the basis of the suspended particle concentrations measured, we concluded that dust collectors were effective in these dispensaries. However, suspended drug ingredients were detected also in dispensaries with dust collectors. These results suggest that the drug dust control systems of individual dispensaries should be properly installed and managed.


Drug compounding Suspended particle Drug ingredient Hospital pharmacist Occupational exposure 



The present study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 24659319 (Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science). The authors thank all the pharmacists of this survey objects for their cooperation and Ms. Mayumi Okumura for her data arranging.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Hygiene 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryoichi Inaba
    • 1
  • Atsushi Hioki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yoshihiro Kondo
    • 1
  • Hiroki Nakamura
    • 3
  • Mitsuhiro Nakamura
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Occupational HealthGifu University Graduate School of MedicineGifuJapan
  2. 2.Clinical DivisionMatsunami General HospitalGifuJapan
  3. 3.Gifu Research Center for Public HealthGifuJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Drug InformaticsGifu Pharmaceutical UniversityGifuJapan

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