Control techniques, validation procedures, and work practices were examined at the Burns Biotec Laboratories (SIC-2834) in Omaha, Nebraska on November 24 and 25, 1980. The company was involved in human leukocyte interferon production utilizing recombinant DNA fermentation techniques. Six of the approximately 175 employees were assigned to the recombinant DNA project. The company maintained a formal safety and industrial hygiene program. Medical services were provided by a retained physician, on employee health service, and a Bio Safety Officer. The authors conclude that existing control measures and employee safety and health programs were generally good. They recommend an investigation of the efficiency, sensitivity, and accuracy of environmental sampling, installation of an autoclave adjacent to the fermenter room for the sterilization of contaminated production equipment and materials, the documentation and recording of employee training sessions, proper use of safety equipment, and the initiation of a medical surveillance program for DNA workers.
Industrywide Studies Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 24 pages