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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-0365-2421, Spectrum Health Care, Inc., Newark, New Jersey.
Buchta TM; Hoekstra E
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 93-0365-2421, 1994 May; :1-19
In response to a request from the management at Spectrum Health Care Inc. (SIC-8093), Newark, New Jersey, an investigation was begun into the potential for tuberculosis transmission resulting from contact with the client population. Administrative and engineering controls used to reduce worker exposures to Mycobacterium-tuberculosis were examined. Spectrum was a nonprofit organization, operating as an outpatient methadone maintenance and detoxification center. Treatment was provided for cocaine and heroin addicts. About 700 clients used the facility over the past year. The center employed physicians, social workers, nurses, and clerical staff. At least 67 tuberculin skin tests on clients yielding positive results. Of the 55 employees, eight had a positive skin test prior to employment, and three others tested positive on the initial skin test. Of the remaining 44, three employees converted to a positive skin test during their work at the center. These three performed different job tasks, and converted at different times. Air mixing occurred among all areas of the center, and 100% of the air was recirculated. The authors conclude that a potential hazard existed for workers exposed to clients who have active tuberculosis. The author recommends that the ventilation systems, the use of personal protective equipment and the skin testing program should be improved.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Specialty Outpatient Facilities, Not Elsewhere Classified; drug treatment center; methadone; tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; tuberculin skin test; TST; ventilationTechnical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-0365-2421; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-2; Infectious-diseases; Health-care-personnel; Bacterial-infections; Health-care-facilities; Infection-control; Author Keywords: Specialty Outpatient Facilities, Not Elsewhere Classified; drug treatment center; methadone; tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; tuberculin skin test; TST; ventilation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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