Occupational health and safety of anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha monoclonal antibodies with casual exposure

Jeff Chang, Rupert W L Leong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: As the incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases continues to rise, so has cumulative use of biological therapy particularly anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha agents. As longer term data emerges about the safety of these drugs, there is increasing attention drawn to safety of those with casual exposure. At present, there is little in the published literature to give guidance for healthcare workers regarding their health and safety in handling of anti-TNF agents, nor the appropriate precautions required. Areas covered: The aim of this review is to summarize the currently known adverse effects, risk assessment tools for classifying and handling hazardous substances, and present evidence for systemic absorption through occupational exposure in handling anti-TNF antibodies at the level of reconstitution. Expert opinion: There is no evidence for systemic absorption of these drugs in context of handling or accidental spillage and no reports of subsequent biological adverse effects. Given the need of this class of medication to be used for long-term maintenance therapy and their increasing indications, improved efficiency and cost-containing measures are recommended. As such, simple universal precautions of protective clothing of glove, gown, facemask and eye goggles are appropriate measures for reconstitution of anti-TNF antibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Colitis
  • Crohn
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Occupational health safety
  • Tumour necrosis factor
  • Ulcerative


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