Researches Identify New Rare Occupational Disease

Researches Identify New Rare Occupational Disease

Welder’s anthrax was found among seven metalworkers from 1994 to 2020.

Researchers have identified a new rare occupational disease called welder’s anthrax that affects metalworkers.

According to a CDC blog and the report, researchers at NIOSH and the CDC’s Bacterial Special Pathogens Branch identified seven cases of severe pneumonia in metalworkers from 1994 to 2020 that shared a similar trait. This specific type of pneumonia was “caused by bacteria within the B. cereus group that produces anthrax toxin.”

According to the blog, five out of seven of the people studied died. Many of the cases shared similar symptoms, including fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath and coughing up blood. They received “broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment,” and one of the two people who survived received an anthrax antitoxin.

Data on work demographics was limited. However, of the two people diagnosed in 2020, per the blog, it was known that one person worked on A36 mil carbon steel on an oil tank roof using a shielded metal arc welding process, and the other worked on low-carbon mild steel in a wood fabrication shop using Metal Inert Gas.

The seven cases' demographics included six men and one woman, six people who were welders and one who was a metalworker, a median age of 39 and four people who worked in Texas and three in Louisiana.

Learning more about worksite dangers can help employers prevent worker injury and death. To learn more about welder’s anthrax and prevention, read the report.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue