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[GreenYes] Fwd: NSWMA GUIDANCE ON ANTHRAX AND BIOTERRORISM
- Subject: [GreenYes] Fwd: NSWMA GUIDANCE ON ANTHRAX AND BIOTERRORISM
- From: Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 11:53:07 -0800
Apologies for Cross-Postings
>Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 09:47:14 -0800
>From: "Mark Bowers" <email@example.com>
>Forwarded from Kate Krebs at NRC [National Recycling Coalition], the
>attached is detailed, practical information on protecting our industry's
>workers from hazards posed by bioterrorism and related threats.
>Solid Waste Program Manager
>City of Sunnyvale
>Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum
DRAFT* NSWMA GUIDANCE ON ANTHRAX AND BIOTERRORISM
FOR THE HAULING AND RECYCLING COMMUNITY
ISSUED: November 6, 2001 (As new information on these issues becomes
available, this guidance will be updated.)
Anthrax spores have been intentionally released through the U.S.
postal system and potentially other sources. As of this writing, this
bioterrorist action is directly affecting a limited number of post offices
in parts of Florida, New Jersey, New York and the Washington D.C. metro
area. (For more information on affected post offices, see the United
States Postal Service web site at www.usps.gov and click on the "Security
of Mail" icon).
What is Anthrax and How Does It Spread?
Although the chances of spreading diseases such as anthrax are
very slim, many employees and their managers have legitimate concerns about
their personal safety. Anthrax can be transmitted by inhalation, direct
skin contact or ingestion. Inhalation is the most dangerous. Anthrax
cannot be spread from person-to-person. Direct contact with anthrax spores
is necessary to contract the disease. As of this writing (November 6),
8800 postal employees have been tested for anthrax and only seven confirmed
cases of anthrax poisoning have been found.
For information describing the symptoms of possible anthrax
exposure, see the Center for Disease Control anthrax information site at
www.bt.cdc.gov. The CDC's "Interim Recommendations for Protecting Workers
From exposure to Bacillus anthracis in Work Sites Where Mail Is Handled or
Processed" can also be found at that site. Always check the CDC site for
For the solid waste and recycling industry, the primary concern
about exposure is in those facilities, whether transfer stations, disposal
facilities, or materials recovery facilities, that receive waste or
recyclables from facilities identified as contaminated by
anthrax. Exposures are likely to be highest in areas such as tipping
floors, sorting lines and baling stations where high levels of dust can be
found. Employees who work in these areas or who have direct contact with
potentially exposed wastes or recyclables may be the most likely to be exposed.
Federal health and environmental authorities have not issued
guidance to the solid waste industry for steps we should take to avoid
exposure of our workers to contaminated material. Based on discussions
with companies involved in collecting and disposing garbage and infectious
medical waste and collecting and processing recyclables, other associations
whose members are engaged in solid waste management, and with Federal
officials, NSWMA suggests the following as appropriate responses.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE IN COLLECTING GARBAGE OR RECYCLABLES FROM PARTICULAR SITES:
1. Garbage and recyclables should not be collected at sites declared
to be contaminated by relevant authorities.
2. If garbage or recyclables are taken from sites that are declared to
be contaminated after the materials were collected, those materials should
not be placed in a transfer station or processed at a MRF. Those materials
should be placed in quarantine until a determination has been made about
their safe disposition.
3. For locations of contaminated sites, check with local police and
the United States Postal Service.
4. In incidents of bioterrorism, the public health authorities are
likely to make the determination if waste generated at the contaminated
facility is itself contaminated. In the final instance, if the waste or
recyclables are not declared contaminated, it is up to the hauler to decide
how to handle the material. Written documentation by public health or
police authorities should be obtained when material to be collected from
contaminated sites is declared not to be contaminated. This documentation
allows haulers and recyclers to make an informed decision on whether to
accept the materials and what additional precautions, if any, should be taken.
PROTECTING YOUR EMPLOYEES
Instructions to an employee upon whom a powder or other unknown and
suspicious substance spills from an envelope or who is otherwise
contaminated by such a substance:
1. Don't panic. The chances of contamination from suspect materials
are very slim.
2. Don't try to clean or wash up the substance.
3. Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to
prevent others from entering.
4. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent spreading
the substance to your face.
5. Immediately report the incident to your supervisor who will report
it to the police.
6. Remove heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place
in a plastic bag, or some other container that can be sealed. This
clothing bag should be given to the emergency responders for proper handling.
7. Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach
or other disinfectant on your skin.
8. List all people who were in the room or area, especially any who
had actual contact with the substance. Give this list to the local public
heath authorities so that proper instructions can be given for medical
follow-up and to law enforcement officials.
IN ALL CASES, DO NOT TOUCH, SMELL, TASTE OR TRY TO ANALYZE THE SUBSTANCE
Instructions to an employee who suspects the contaminant is sprayed or
1. Turn off local fans or ventilation units.
2. Leave the area immediately.
3. Close the door or section off the area to keep others away.
4. Report the incident to your supervisor and local police.
5. List all the people who were in the room or area and give the list
to local public health and law enforcement authorities.
Protections for employees on a picking line in a MRF or a transfer station:
1. Follow current company policy on use of latex gloves (or
alternatives for those with latex allergies) and dust masks.
2. Two strap masks are considered respirators under OSHA rules (see 29
CFR 1910.134 at
www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_toc/OSHA_Std_toc_1910_SUBPART_I.html for the
regulation OR www.osha-slc.gov/FedReg_osha_data/FED19941115.html for the
full Federal Register notice and explanation of the final rule). Proper
recordkeeping, respirator fit testing and training must be provided. Note
that the CDC currently recommends N95 respirators for persons working with
or near machinery capable of generating aerosolized particles or at other
work sites where such particles may be generated.
For more information on anthrax and other potential bioterrorist spread
diseases, go the Center for Disease Control web site at www.cdc.gov. You
can also contact Edward Mazzullo, Director, Hazardous Materials Standards,
U.S. DOT, RSPA, 202-366-8553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSWMA GUIDANCE ON EMPLOYEE
AND EQUIPMENT SECURITY FOR THE
HAULING AND RECYCLING COMMUNITY
General Rules to protect drivers and other operational employees:
1. Employees should always practice good personal hygiene.
2. Employees should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment
in accordance with company policy.
3. Employees should wash hands before rubbing face or eyes or before
eating and drinking.
4. Employees who smoke should wash hands before smoking.
5. Employees should be alert for chemical substances in the trash and
recyclables you collect. Any employee who comes across suspicious
materials should immediately notify his or her supervisor.
Protecting trucks, containers and facilities:
1. Companies should control access to all solid waste management
yards, including transfer stations, MRFs, disposal facilities and truck yards.
2. Companies should inventory trucks daily.
3. Companies should take normal precautions to ensure trucks are not
stolen including control over truck keys, rules against drivers leaving
trucks unattended with the keys in the ignition or the motor unattended, etc.
4. Companies should inventory customer keys and ensure that they are
provided only to drivers that must have them.
5. Employees should immediately report missing vehicles to the police,
the FBI and management.
6. Employees should be alert to suspicious circumstances and unusual
conditions in the work yard and on the route.
7. Employees should follow their instincts if something doesn't look
right such as:
· Missing containers
· Containers closer to the building from their usual location
· Unusual containers not consistent with the customer or your company
· Trucks and containers parked in locations that don't make sense
· Unauthorized persons driving company trucks or making inquiries
about company trucks or equipment
· Any unusual or suspicious circumstance
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