Categories: At-risk populations, Manufacturing, women
February 19th, 2008 10:00 am ET -
Kristin J. Cummings, MD, MPH, and
Kathleen Kreiss, MD
In the past 40 years, there have been enormous changes to employment arrangements in the United States. The use of part-time, temporary, and contract workers has risen dramatically. These and other workers who do not have a traditional relationship with a single work-site employer can be grouped together as “contingent workers.” Using a broad definition, contingent workers make up nearly one-third of the workforce, or 43 million workers in 2005, ranging from well-compensated independent financial consultants to low-skilled construction workers.
We explored many of the issues facing contingent workers in the January 30, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association in the article “Contingent Workers and Contingent Health: Risks of a Modern Economy” (JAMA. 2008; 299(4)).
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Categories: Bloodborne pathogens
February 4th, 2008 3:45 pm ET -
Everett Lehman, MS, MBA, and Amy Mobley, MS
Body art…. This may seem like an odd topic for a science blog, but not when you consider the artists’ risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Body art is popular and growing with an estimated 16,000 body artists working in the U.S. today. Body art, which typically consists of tattoos and body piercings, is an art form where the artists’ canvas is the human body.
When working on this unique medium, artists may come in contact with a client’s blood if they are stuck with the needle that they are using on a client (or stuck with a used needle during disposal), or if the client’s blood splashes into the eyes, nose, or mouth. Contact with another person’s blood may expose workers to bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These bloodborne pathogens can be dangerous and may cause permanent illness. If an artist gets one of these viruses, he or she may become ill and be unable to support his or her family. Also, since bloodborne pathogens can be spread through contact with blood and other bodily fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions, sexual partners could also be at risk of getting a bloodborne disease.
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