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NIOSH Testimony on OSHA Guidelines on Biotechnology by J. D. Millar, August, 1985.

NIOSH 1985 Aug:3 pages
This testimony reviewed the position of NIOSH concerning OSHA proposed guidelines on biotechnology. In the guidelines OSHA stated that there was no evidence to warrant the issuance of new regulations specifically covering biohazards as workers would be adequately protected under already existing standards. NIOSH voices the feeling that it is not reasonable to expect that workers will be covered by provisions of a rule that has not been promulgated. It is also hard to predict how proposed changes in 29 CFR 1910.134 would affect the protection afforded to these workers. The second item concerns the use of Section 5(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act which states that each employer will provide a place of work free from recognized hazards, whereas many hazards present may not be recognized as such. NIOSH was conducting a study to determine the extent to which bacterial strains used in the fermentation process enter the workplace air. NIOSH cautioned that it may be necessary to develop containment with improved effectiveness and cost efficiency, that monitoring methods must be more deeply studied to measure airborne and surface concentrations of genetically modified organisms, that ongoing medical surveillance and epidemiology among biotechnology workers must assure that no health effects are occurring, and that steps should be taken to ensure that biotechnology workers are not at risk of sensitization to microbial proteins and products generated in the course of fermentation and product extraction processes.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Millar-J-D; Genotoxic-effects; Biotechnology-industry; Biohazards; Air-quality-monitoring; Work-practices; Laboratory-workers;
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Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury;
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NIOSH, 3 pages
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division