Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1000; 1910.1200; 1910.1030; 1910.101


April 27, 1994

MEMORANDUM FOR: LINDA R. ANKU
Regional Administrator
Region III

THROUGH: STEPHEN MALLINGER
Acting Director
Directorate of Technical Support

MELISSA A. McDIARMID, MD, MPH, Director
Office of Occupational Medicine

FROM: JOSEPH M. TONNING, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine Resident
Office of Occupational Medicine

ANGELA C. PRESSON, MD, MPH
Medical Officer
Office of Occupational Medicine

SUBJECT: Occupational Health Hazards to Veterinarians


This memo is in response to an earlier inquiry regarding occupational hazards to veterinarians. Several organizations have been contacted including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (404-639-3158), the American Animal Hospital Association (303-986-2800), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (708-925-8070). According to Arnold Kaufman, DVM, at the CDC, brucellosis is the major concern among diseases that could potentially be transmitted from animals to veterinarians. Dr. Kaufman was unaware of any specific guidelines for veterinarians when handling animals, although he referred to the CDC/NIH publication Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 3rd Edition. This publication discusses many viral and bacterial diseases that may be transmitted from animals to humans (including Brucellosis, page 85). Proper means of handling animals with these diseases as well as personal protective equipment and medical waste disposal is also discussed.

Another excellent source of information regarding occupational hazards to veterinarians is the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. This journal recently published a four-part series of articles by Philip J. Seibert, Jr., CVT, the first three of which are attached. These articles discuss various occupational hazards as well as OSHA regulations such as those governing anesthetic gases, hazardous chemicals, medical waste, and compressed gas cylinders. The February 1, 1994 issue (Vol. 204 pp. 356-358) specifically addresses disposal of medical waste and animal handling guidelines, citing the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard. This journal is considered authoritative among veterinarians. Approximately 85% of all veterinarians in the United States are members of the American Veterinary Medical Association, according to the membership department of this organization.

Thank you for contacting us regarding this issue. We hope this information will be helpful for you in providing assistance in the veterinary area. If we can be of further assistance, please contact either Dr. Tonning or Dr. Presson at the Office of Occupational Medicine, (202) 219-5003.

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