Checking podiatry clinics for bioaerosol exposures

By: February 29th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Yes, there are occupational hazards for caregivers working on feet.

A study done by Irish researchers and appearing in the January 23 issue  Annals of Occupational Hygiene surveyed 250 podiatrist clinics to assess personal exposure knowledge and conducted tests in 15 podiatry clinics for concentrations of airborne bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and molds.

“Workplace Exposure to Bioaerosols in Podiatry Clinics” reports that 32% of care providers surveyed had a respiratory condition. Asthma was the most common condition reported.

Gloves (73.3%) and respiratory protective equipment (34.6%) were the most common personal protective equipment used during patient treatments.

“Refresher health and safety training focusing on health and safety hazards inherent in podiatry work and practical control measures is warranted,” the study concluded.

Comments

By Bruce Cunha on March 6th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

We addressed this issue some years back. I was amazed by the amount of dust, fungus and other items that are generated when trimming toe nails and doing other foot related treatments.

For many of the extreme cases the providers or their technicians use power sanding tools (think dremmel tools). We added in small portable suction units with HEPA filters to be used for any cutting/sanding/grinding on the feet or nails to reduce exposure. Employees also wear dust masks when performing these processes.

 

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