Safety – for nurses and for patients

One of the objectives of the EONS Advocacy Working Group (WG) is to raise awareness on safety in cancer care across Europe, and the WG is currently exploring what is being done in this very important area – considering which organisations we could work with and examining the current situation is countries across Europe. By ‘safety’ we mean both occupational safety and patient safety, and an article in the magazine of the European Parliament has highlighted the risks we face at work and is calling for more action.

The European Parliament has also published policy recommendations on preventing occupational exposure to cytotoxic and other hazardous drugs in 2016.

Scientific data confirm that sporadic exposure affects nurses more than pharmacists and pharmacy technicians1. Surveys, involving primarily with nurses, have associated workplace exposures to cytotoxic drugs with acute health effects and/or chronic effects2.

With all these factors in mind, EONS plans to make a difference in this area. Further updates regarding the actions EONS is taking to campaign in this area will appear on this page.

1. Villarini M, Dominici L, Piccinini R, Fatigoni C, Ambrogi M, Curti G, Morucci P, Muzi G, Monarca S, Moretti M. 2011. “Assessment of primary, oxidative and excision repaired DNA damage in hospital personnel handling antineoplastic drugs”. Mutagenesis 2011;26:359e69. Available at

2. Connor TH, McDiarmid MA. 2006. “Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic Drugs in Health Care Settings”. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 56: 354-365. Available at: