Aerosol transmissible disease standard approved for California
In what might be a harbinger for a federal law, California adopted the first standard designed to protect workers from aerosol transmitted diseases in the workplace, such as TB, SARS, measles, and pandemic influenza.
According to an item posted on the Occupational & Environmental Medicine list-serve at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, the California OSHA Standards Board adopted the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard May 21. The standard has been under consideration by the Board for two years.
In addition to healthcare facilities such as medical practices and hospitals, the standard would apply to laboratories, emergency medical services, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities.
Currently there are no federal standards specific to ATDs, but remember, before there was a federal OSHA standard for bloodborne pathogens, California had one on the books.
Does the recent influenza A (H1N1) outbreak make a federal ATD standard more likely?
I think so.
Let me know your opinion in the comment section below.