OSHA on Thursday opened for 60 days the tuberculosis (TB) rulemaking record to give interested persons the opportunity to review and comment on the agency's final risk assessment and the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report "Tuberculosis in the Workplace."

OSHA last reopened the TB record during June 1999 seeking comment on new studies or data that would assist the agency in determining the occupational risk of TB exposure. The agency asked two experts in the fields of TB epidemiology and risk assessment to review the draft risk assessment. The reviews by Dr. Richard Menzies, professor and director of the Respiratory Epidemiology Unit at McGill University in Montreal, and Dr. Mark Nicas, professor at the University of California Berkeley and a certified industrial hygienist, have been concluded. Their evaluation is also available for comment.

The Institute of Medicine - the health policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences - was asked by Congress to prepare a report about the occupational risks of TB to healthcare workers. IOM's report includes addressing questions related to the implementation of TB guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the potential effectiveness of an OSHA standard to protect these workers.

Comment should be postmarked no later than March 25, 2002. Two copies should be sent to:

Docket Office, Docket H-371 Room N-2625 Occupational Safety and Health Administration U.S. Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20210

Comments may also be submitted electronically to http://ecomments.osha.gov. Information such as studies and journal articles cannot be attached to electronic submissions and must be submitted in duplicate to the above mailing address.