Congress calls for safer needles

In the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1999, Congress urges a requirement for the use of safe needle devices and more accurate needlestick reporting in U.S. health care institutions. Although the directive is not mandatory, the new law charges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration with responsibility for protecting health care workers from needlestick injuries that can transmit lethal viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.