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Cal/OSHA Says Current State Health Regs Already Require Condoms in Porn

LOS ANGELES – California’s of Department Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) convened its first meeting of an Advisory Panel to explore strengthening adult film worker safety regulations in California Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.

In March, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted unanimously to convene the Advisory Panel in order to take public comment from health advocates, industry officials and the general public on whether—and how—to amend state health statutes to better protect adult film workers.

That March action came in response to a petition filed in December by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) seeking an amendment to broaden the Cal/OSHA’s “bloodborne pathogens” workplace safety regulations to better encompass adult film industry worksites.

During today’s meeting Cal/OSHA official Deborah Gold clarified a point of contention regarding condom use between advocates for condoms and enhanced oversight of the adult film industry and those producers, directors and performers working in the adult industry who oppose mandatory condom use.

At one point in the meeting, Gold stated that existing Cal/OSHA state bloodborne pathogens regulations DO cover condom use in adult film productions filmed in California stating, “Let me be clear: We’re not creating a new rule, we’re talking about modifying an existing rule.”

“It was important to hear a Cal/OSHA official so unequivocally say that existing state regulations already require the use of condoms on all adult film sets in California, something that is clearly not happening,” said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Director of Public Health for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the group that first submitted the petition to Cal/OSHA.

“As we work toward the next meeting of this panel in October, AHF reiterates it commitment to work on improving the health and safety of adult film workers. We will work with both public health officials as well as people from the adult film community to ensure that condom use happens in these film productions.”

Also during the meeting, Robert Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, Director, Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, clarified that Los Angeles County health officials have officially linked eight of as many as 22 possible HIV infections identified between 2004 and 2008 as tied to the industry. Previously County health officials could only connect four of the 22 cases thought to be industry-related as tied to outbreaks or clusters of HIV infection the adult film industry.

Background on AHF’s Petition to Cal/OSHA

AHF filed its petition at the final 2009 meeting of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) in mid-December in Sacramento. The petition sought an amendment to California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 5193 “Bloodborne Pathogens” and asked Cal/OSHA to clarify protections for workers in the adult film industry and to explicitly include a condom requirement. As reported by the Associated Press at the time, (“AIDS group wants rule requiring condoms in porn” AP, 12/16/09) AHF said, “regulations to prevent the spread of bloodborne diseases in hospitals should extend to adult film sets. The current regulations aren’t clear enough.”

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