Handling Chemotherapy Safely
Chemotherapy medicines, also called chemo, may be present in stool, urine,
saliva, blood, mucus, vomit, or drainage. Small amounts are also in vaginal and
semen body fluids. To be safe, avoid contact with the chemo medicines and
body waste and fluids. Follow these safety guidelines for 48 hours after each
time you have chemo.
When you are given chemo, the staff may wear gloves, gowns, masks or
goggles when handling chemotherapy, blood and body waste.
Avoid Contact with Body Waste
Follow these safety guidelines anytime you might touch body fluids or waste.
This includes urine, stool, vomit, blood or containers that touch these such as
the toilet, bedpan or ostomy bags.
• Buy latex or latex free gloves that are chemo safe at your local pharmacy.
• Wear the gloves when touching anything that has body fluids on or in it. Put
gloves on before touching the toilet, bedpan, ostomy bag, diaper, bed sheets
or pads. Wash your hands with the gloves on, then remove the gloves and
wash your hands again.
• Men should sit down on the toilet.
• Empty body waste into the toilet. Empty it close to the water to limit
• Flush the toilet twice with the lid down.
• Clean containers after each use with soap and water. Rinse well.
• If you use diapers, use disposable diapers.
• Clean the toilet bowl in the usual manner. Clean up splashes with soap and
• Trash that has been soiled with medicine or body fluids or waste should be
put in a leak-proof plastic bag. Then, put this bag in a second plastic bag.
• Wear gloves to throw away soiled trash. Wash your hands with the gloves
on. Then remove the gloves and wash your hands again.
• Wear gloves to handle laundry that has been soiled by body fluids.
• Place it in the washer without mixing with other laundry.