BLOOD IS NEVER “JUST BLOOD”
Most people are unaware of the exposure risks of dealing with blood and bodily fluids. Any time these biohazards are present, proceed with caution. Every time anyone handles potentially hazardous materials, they are put at significant risk. These risks can be effectively limited by thorough training, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and following established remediation and disinfection protocols that are required by law and set by industry best practices.
It is important for any company or organization to understand that they are responsible for their employees’ and customers’ safety when it comes to biohazard exposure.
Biohazards refer to biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. The two broad categories of biohazards are Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) and Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM). True to its name, bloodborne pathogens are present in and transmitted through blood. OPIM are bacteria and viruses that reside in bodily fluids, feces, urine, and vomit. These biohazards, if improperly treated, can cause serious health issues leading to death.
DID YOU KNOW…
- Some strains of E. coli can live for more than 15 weeks on wet surfaces and more than 4 days on hard, dry surfaces.
- Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can survive for days or weeks on hard surfaces.
- C. difficile is a bacterium that can live for months on hard surfaces and fabrics. Each year about a half million people get sick from C. diff, leading to more than 29,000 deaths.
- MRSA, a Super Bug, is caused by a type of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics. MRSA is highly contagious and can survive for weeks on surfaces.
- Almost 6 million people in the US are infected with Hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than the AIDS virus, while Hepatitis C can survive outside the body at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. Any blood spills, including dried blood, can be infectious.
- There are an estimated 1.1 million people in the US living with HIV. Every 9.5 minutes another person becomes infected.
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