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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-042-1869, Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, Jacksonville, Florida.
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 87-042-1869, 1988 Feb; :1-44
In response to a request from the State of Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (SIC-8071), Jacksonville, Florida, an evaluation was made of working conditions at public health laboratories to investigate outbreaks of red rashes, dryness and chapping of skin among employees. Five of the seven public health laboratories were visited and the workers questioned concerning their experiences and their job duties. Exposure to the oxidase reagents used in the preliminary identification of Neisseria- gonorrhoeae cultures was reported by 54 of 99 workers completing a questionnaire. Of these 54 workers, 34 were experiencing the skin problems. In skin patch tests using oxidase reagents, seven of 27 individuals tested positive for allergic contact dermatitis to oxidase reagents. A relationship was also noted between those who were nonsensitized victims of dermatitis and the degree of exposure they had to the oxidase reagents. The authors conclude that there is a health hazard from exposure to oxidase compounds at these public health laboratories. The authors recommend that more extensive patch testing be carried out and those workers testing positive be transferred to other areas of the facility. Those workers who are not sensitive should wear disposable vinyl gloves when working with oxidase reagents. Work practices should be changed to minimize accidental spillage.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-87-042-1869; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Laboratory-workers; Skin-exposure; Occupational-dermatitis; Allergic-reactions;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division