NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-171-2255, Onondaga County medical examiner's office, Syracuse, New York.

Seitz TA
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 92-171-2255, 1992 Sep; :1-22
In response to a request from the Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DBMD), National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, an evaluation of environmental conditions and procedures used to prevent tuberculosis transmission was carried out at the Medical Examiner's Office (SIC-9199), Syracuse, New York. About 18 persons were employed at the Office, which conducted 600 to 700 autopsies per year. There was air mixing between the morgue and office areas. Ultraviolet radiation levels in the morgue were high due to the use of six ceiling mounted germicidal ultraviolet lamps providing direct irradiation of the area below. Louvers and baffles were not used on these lamps. Measurements taken indicated that the permissible exposure times for working under these lamps was less than 20 minutes for workers with unprotected skin and eyes. The author concludes that a potential hazard existed for workers exposed to aerosols from cadavers which had active tuberculosis at the time of death. The use of aerosol generating procedures presented a high risk situation. The author recommends specific measures to correct existing ventilation deficiencies, including isolation of the morgue ventilation system, use of personal protective equipment, safe use of germicidal ultraviolet lamps, and the provision of separate clean and dirty change areas for morgue personnel.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-171-2255; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-2; Ultraviolet-radiation; Autopsies; Ventilation-systems; Bacterial-infections; Infectious-diseases; Infection-control; Author Keywords: Government not elsewhere classified; autopsy; morgue; tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; germicidal ultraviolet radiation; ventilation
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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