Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Glass Capillary Tubes Dangerous

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Glass Capillary Tubes Dangerous

Article excerpt

OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH) and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have produced a joint advisory notice on the use of glass capillary tubes.

Designed to inform employers and employees of the potential hazards associated with these blood collection devices, the organizations recommend safer alternatives to glass capillary tubes. According to the advisory, breakage of glass capillary tubes during use may result in worker exposure to contaminated blood. Such cases can increase the risk of acquiring a bloodborne pathogen infection, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Studies of health care workers indicated that hundreds of these exposures occur, sometimes requiring expensive and lengthy treatment, as well as tremendous mental anguish for injured workers.

"There are an estimated 2,800 injuries from glass capillary tube breakage every year," said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "OSHA wants to be sure that employees in labs and health care facilities receive the best possible protection against dangerous, potentially fatal exposures."

To reduce the risk, OSHA recommends using:

* Capillary tubes that are not made of glass. …

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