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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-134-1197, African Swine Fever Laboratory, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Wilcox T; Ahrenholz S
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 82-134-1197, 1982 Sep; :1-14
The cause of a series of acute illnesses that had affected 13 of the 22 employees at the Santo Domingo Laboratory (SIC-8071), Dominican Republic was investigated. The United States Agency for International Development in Santo Domingo requested the study which was performed during the week of March 22, 1982. A walk through survey, chemical inventory, and environmental sampling were performed. The illnesses were characterized by the sudden onset of rapid heart rate, dizziness, severe weakness, and in some cases loss of consciousness. Twelve of the 13 affected employees worked within the clinical lab. Neither environmental sampling results for solvents, metals, airborne particulates, nor inspection of the lab revealed any chemical or biological agent present in the environment that could be responsible for the illnesses of the lab personnel. The authors suggest that the circumstances of the episodes indicate that some contaminant of the coffee may have caused the illnesses of certain employees. Should further incidents occur following ingestion of food or liquids, samples should be collected for analysis. The practice of eating or drinking in the work areas should be discontinued since the danger of chemical, bacterial, or viral contamination of the food or beverage is ever present.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Industrial-hygiene; Work-practices; Laboratory-workers; Food-contaminants; Occupational-exposure; HETA-82-134-1197; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-9; Author Keywords: Medical Laboratories; Virology Laboratory
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division