9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

P126 - Focus on biosafety actions at libraries, archives and museums: the Manguinhos Library as a model

Biosafety is at present an important debate topic within the Brazilian and the world scientific arena, its scope adding up multidisciplinary approaches to many knowledge fields. The perception and compliance to universal Biosafety rules and their relation to environmental and healthwork control actions among professionals dealing with activities linked to libraries and /or museums and files may lead to a critical evaluation facing emergency situations and further the sorting or the lessening of different risk agents.
Chemical and biological risk agents may be pointed out in these work environments. Volatile organic compounds, oxydizing elements, artifact emissions, alkaline aerosols, toxic solvents or dry-cleaning fluids represent chemical risk agents, along with pesticides that are used against plagues that may harm the collection.
Inhalable particles may also be a threatening factor to environmental air quality. Biological risk agents that may induce respiratory or allergic disease include Asp ergillus sp and Penicillium sp. Bacteria such as Legionella pneumophila and Bacillus subtillis may also be air-borne in these environments, being responsible for lethal pulmonary ailments.
The study was carried out in order to assay the workers’ perception with regard to several risk agents usually present at libraries, files and museums, pointing out the case of libraries. The aim to focus on library workers included the preparation of suggestions, the decision plan and the set up of emergency measures as a way to control risk agents in these environments.
The study was conducted at the Manguinhos Library, belonging to the Fundação Oswaldo Cruz complex.
Using an adapted version of the “Manual for Risk Identification and Perception in Public Health Laboratories” edtted by ODA, L. et al (1998), a group of library employees was enabled by the Biosafety Nucleus/ NuBio to perform a survey in every department of the referred library.
The results were quantitatively assayed (statist ics) and plotted on graph form, aiming at the study of Biosafety profiles currently observed at the library.
Risk identification and perception in Manguinhos Library considered the survey of environmental characteristics, its organization chart, the main risk agents related to the work process and the workers’ health conditions.
Biosafety actions herewith taken may help to improve safety conditions of the workers as well as the collection, main role of the library system. Getting library workers acquainted with regular Biosafety rules and practices, either by applying the risk perception tool or by providing basic information linked to their protection and regard over health subjects.