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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-89-055-2043, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
Suruda A; Moss CE
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 89-055-2043, 1990 May; :1-27
In response to a request from the Occupational Medicine Program of the George Washington University School of Medicine (SIC-8062) an evaluation was made of possible clustering of optic neuritis among employees in the pathology department over a 2 year period. All three cases were interviewed and blood samples drawn for viral studies. No common factors were identified to explain these cases. Only one employee was actively involved in handling human tissue specimens. The other two cases both worked in the offices adjacent to areas where viral studies were done. All blood samples were negative for antibody to HTLV-I. Urine screening for heavy metals was negative in all three cases. The authors conclude that it was not possible to determine the etiology of this cluster of cases. Work practices in this department were observed to follow generally accepted guidelines for the handling of infectious materials, and no specific recommendations are made for changing these practices. The authors recommend that the medical school maintain a log of needlestick injuries as is done for hospital personnel.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-89-055-2043; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Laboratory-workers; Heavy-metal-poisoning; Viral-diseases; Infectious-diseases; Author Keywords: general medical and surgical hospitals; optic neuritis; retrovirus; zinc; heavy metals; health care workers; infectious materials
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division