Photodynamic therapy: Occupational hazards and preventative recommendations for clinical administration by healthcare providers

John D. Breskey, Steven E. Lacey, Benjamin J. Vesper, William A. Paradise, James A. Radosevich, Michael D. Colvard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) as a medical treatment for cancers is an increasing practice in clinical settings, as new photosensitizing chemicals and light source technologies are developed and applied. PDT involves dosing patients with photosensitizing drugs, and then exposing them to light using a directed energy device in order to manifest a therapeutic effect. Healthcare professionals providing PDT should be aware of potential occupational health and safety hazards posed by these treatment devices and photosensitizing agents administered to patients. Materials and methods: Here we outline and identify pertinent health and safety considerations to be taken by healthcare staff during PDT procedures. Results: Physical hazards (for example, non-ionizing radiation generated by the light-emitting device, with potential for skin and eye exposure) and chemical hazards (including the photosensitizing agents administered to patients that have the potential for exposure via skin, subcutaneous, ingestion, or inhalation routes) must be considered for safe use of PDT by the healthcare professional. Conclusions: Engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment controls are recommendations for the safe use and handling of PDT agents and light-emitting technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-407
Number of pages10
JournalPhotomedicine and Laser Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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