Biologic agents are present in a variety of workplaces. For example, factories can expose workers to microbials, and office buildings can contain mould. And when the SARS outbreaks occurred in 2005, the world saw a new population at risk of occupational disease: the hospital workforce.
Exposure can often be prevented, but prevention depends on knowledge. Traditionally, researchers in the field of occupational disease and exposure assessment have focused on better understanding and identifying chemical and physical exposures. CREOD researchers, however, are using those existing principles to focus on biological exposures. CREOD studies have looked at methods for monitoring and controlling biological agents, evaluation of strategies to reduce exposure (including the regulation of exposure limits), and the measurement of biological agents in different workplaces. We’re also learning what works to improve worker compliance with prevention strategies (e.g. mask use) in the health care sector.
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