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Health care and correctional facility workers have long been at risk of contracting Tuberculosis (TB). Cases in health care workers constituted 3 percent of all TB cases.

TB is a potentially severe contagious disease that is spread from person to person through the air. The TB germs may spray into the air if a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, or sneezes. Anyone nearby can breathe TB germs into their lungs.

People with TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. However, they may develop TB disease at some time in the future.

TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. If people have TB disease, they need medical help. If they don't get help, they can die.


NIOSHTIC-2 search results on Tuberculosis
NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by the NIOSH.

Occupationally-Related Publications on Tuberculosis

Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005 MMWR 54/RR-17 (December 30, 2005)

Guidelines for Protecting the Safety and Health of Health Care Workers, 1988
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 88-119 (1988)
Provides information needed to protect the health and safety of health care workers in hospitals and other health care facilities.

NIOSH DVD-Respirators: Your TB Defense / TB Respiratory Protection: Administrator's Review
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2002-114d (2002)
This includes the programs Respirators: Your TB Defense, TB Respiratory Protection: Administrator's Review, and written materials in electronic format. (These programs are also available separately on VHS by request).

Worker Health Chartbook 2004: Tuberculosis
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-146
Provides data for incidence rates of TB in health care workers, 1994–2000.

Work Related Lung Disease Surveillance Report 2002
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-111 (2002)
The sixth of a series, the Work-Related Lung Disease (WoRLD) Surveillance Report 2002 provides information on various work-related respiratory diseases and associated exposures in the United States. The WoRLD Surveillance Report 2002 describes where these diseases are occurring (by industry and geographic location), who is affected (by race, gender, age, and occupation), how frequently they occur, and temporal trends.

Efficacy of Ultraviolet Irradiation in Controlling the Spread of Tuberculosis
(NIOSH Contract No. 200-97-2602, Final Report, October 2002 pp. 1-80)
This study was conducted to systematically investigate the conditions under which Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) can be expected to mitigate the spread of Tuberculosis.

NASD documents by topic as well as Standards/Regulations: Enforcement Policy on Tuberculosis, 1993
National Agriculture Safety Database on the NIOSH Web site.

Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Health-Care Facilitates, 1994
(Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October 28, 1994 / 43(RR13);1-132)
Provides recommendations for reducing the risk for transmitting Mycobacterium Tuberculosis to health care workers, patients, volunteers, visitors, and other persons in these settings. Also a resource for educating health care workers about TB.

Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Correctional Facilities, 1996
(Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 07, 1996 / 45(RR-8);1-27)
Guidelines describe TB screening, containment, and assessment activities related to both short- and long-term correctional facilities. Also includes the roles of the correctional facility and the public health department in achieving those goals.

Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Facilities Providing Long-Term Care to the Elderly, 1990
(Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, July 13, 1990 / 39(RR-10);7-20)
Tuberculosis control recommendations for staff and administrators of hospital long-term care units, adult foster-care homes, board and care homes, and other congregate settings for the elderly.

Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Migrant Farm Workers, 1992
(Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 06, 1992 / 41(RR10))
Recommendations for Tuberculosis screening, prevention, and control activities that are directed to health-care providers, health departments, and public policy and decision makers who serve this population.

Tuberculosis Transmission in Multiple Correctional Facilities --- Kansas, 2002--2003
(Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 20, 2004 / 53(32);734-738)
The Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (ACET) recommends that all correctional facilities have a written TB infection--control plan (TBICP) (4). This report summarizes the results of an investigation in September 2002, after diagnosis of smear-positive pulmonary TB in a prison inmate, the Kansas TB Control Program, with assistance from CDC.

Ending Neglect: Elimination of TB in The US, 2000
(full text with permission)
(National Academy Press Web site)
The book provides important background on the pathology of Tuberculosis, its history and status in the U.S., and the public and private response.

Enforcement Policy on Tuberculosis, 1993
External Link:

Published in 1993 as OSHA Fact Sheet No. 93-43, this document details inspection guidance, General Duty Clause use, and OSHA standards application.

Tuberculosis in the Workplace, 2001
(full text with permission)
(National Academy Press Web site)
This document discusses how effective Tuberculosis control measures in the workplace can be one element for much broader national and international strategies to prevent and eventually eliminate Tuberculosis. It also discusses how Tuberculosis remains a threat that public health programs cannot afford to ignore.

Respiratory Protection

Occupational Respiratory Disease Surveillance (ORDS)
NIOSH Topic Page about occupational respiratory disease medical screening and monitoring

Respirator Information
NIOSH Topic Page about respirators, including news, user notices, and respirator selection and maintenance and more...

NIOSH-Approved Disposable Particulate Respirators (Filtering Facepieces)
Provides a listing of NIOSH-approved disposable particulate respirators that health care workers can use to help protect themselves from diseases potentially spread through the air, such as SARS or Tuberculosis.

Certified Equipment List (CEL)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-139 (2001)
A searchable and downloadable database of all certified respirators and coal mine dust personal sampler units.

Characteristics of Respirators Protecting Against TB Project. 1995 – 1998
(abstract--bibliographic information only)
A project that developed new methods for determining the bacterial penetration, injury, survival, and aerosolization-after-storage characteristics of currently used and potential respiratory protection devices exposed to model microorganisms of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB).

Protect Yourself Against Tuberculosis--A Respiratory Protection Guide for Health Care Workers
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-102 (1995)
A booklet written to answer questions about respirator use in the health care industry. Serves as a quick reference for health care workers employed in a variety of settings and with varied educational backgrounds.

TB Respiratory Protection Program in Health Care Facilities--Administrator's Guide
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-143 (1999)
A manual designed to serve as a practical guide for those individuals responsible for initiating and running a TB respiratory protection program in health care facilities.

NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations (HHE)

Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs)
Official NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation site containing general information, including how to request an Health Hazard Evaluations and more....

Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs): Tuberculosis (1990-1999)
DHHS NIOSH Publication No. 2001-116 (2001)
Titles and summaries of Health Hazard Evaluations conducted from 1990 through 1999 related to Tuberculosis, organized by type of facility.

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