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Lab Safety Manual

Environmental Health and Safety
108 Edwards Hall
1810 Kerr Dr.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-5856
785-532-1981 fax
safety@k-state.edu

Medical Surveillance

Work with certain agents may require enrollment into a specific medical surveillance program as dictated by regulatory, accreditation entity expectations, or KSU policy to ensure worker protection. This includes chemical agents known to cause occupational cancers and/or other occupational illness as defined the OSHA Laboratory Standard or as part of the EPA Worker Protection Rule.

Formaldehyde Medical Surveillance

Formaldehyde is present in various KSU clinical and laboratory settings, often in the form of formalin. When working with dilute solutions such as formalin, exposures may be safely controlled by employing good laboratory practices such as working in a chemical fume hood and/or working with small amounts, and wearing recommended PPE.

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and a chemical sensitizer and allergen. Employees that are potentially exposed at or above the OSHA action level for formaldehyde, as determined by personal or area sampling, must enroll in a formaldehyde medical surveillance program. The action level is established for the protection of employees routinely exposed to higher levels of formaldehyde in the execution of their work activities. Medical surveillance consists of filling out a medical questionnaire annually that is reviewed by a licensed healthcare provider. A physical exam may also be required as determined by the healthcare provider. Contact EHS for assistance enrolling in a medical surveillance program.

In some cases, employees might experience adverse symptoms when exposed below the action level or during non-routine or casual contact to formaldehyde. In this event, medical guidance should be sought through an occupational healthcare provider.

Contact EHS for guidance and for worksite assessment.

Select Agents Medical Surveillance

Individuals working with select agents must be enrolled in the BRI medical surveillance program. Contact the BRI for assistance.

Asbestos Worker Medical Surveillance       

Asbestos is a once commonly used building material which may be broken into microfibers capable of causing chronic respiratory health effects in those exposed. All remodels which may disturb asbestos containing materials must include a work order through Facilities which will lead to a check for asbestos containing material.

EHS provides oversight for all asbestos related projects for the University. This includes the Division of Facilities, the Department of Housing and Dining Services, Athletics, the KSU Union, Hale Library, the Foundation Center, and outside contractors working on campus. This service is provided at cost to Facilities with nominal charges added to all other departments. The services that are provided include bulk samples (polarized light microscopy analysis) for each job, inspection for the location of asbestos (visual) and air quality (phase contrast microscopy analysis).

For more information, see:

https://www.k-state.edu/safety/occupational/asbestos-lead/