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Botulism

botulism_banner.jpg - Photo Credit: CDC/ Courtesy of Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory - ID#1930
Botulism Menu

Overview

In the United States an average of 110 cases of botulism are reported each year. Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxins are some of the most poisonous substances known. Miniscule quantities are capable of producing disease in humans.

Cases of botulism are usually associated with consumption of preserved foods. However, botulinum toxins are currently among the most common compounds explored by terrorists for use as biological weapons.

OSHA Standards

There are currently no specific OSHA standards for botulism and emergency response activities as a result of a bioterrorist attack.

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Hazard Recognition

Provides references aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with botulinum toxin.

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Evaluating Exposure

Provides references provide useful information about the management of exposures to botulinum toxin.

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Control and Prevention

Provides links and references regarding methods to prevent and control the growth and spread of botulism.

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Additional Resources

Provides references to additional resources related to botulism.

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How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-Site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-Site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

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