Accidental Exposure

Potential exposures include needle sticks, animal bites, aerosol exposures, and other incidents potentially resulting in disease from a biological agent. Biohazardous agent refers to an agent that is biological in nature and has the capacity to produce deleterious effects upon biological organisms. Biohazardous agents include, but are not limited to: bacteria, fungi, viruses, rickettsiae, Chlamydia, prion, parasites, recombinant products, allergens, cultured human and animal cells and the potentially biohazardous agents these cells may contain, infected clinical specimens, tissue from experimental animals, plant viruses, bacteria and fungi, toxins, and other biohazardous agents, as defined by State and Federal regulations.

Routes of Exposure

  • Sharps injuries: contaminated hypodermic needles, razor blades and contaminated glassware
  • Aerosols: dropped cultures, dropped animal cages, broken tubes in centrifuges, mixing procedures
  • Non-intact Skin: skin with micro abrasions and gloves were not worn or poor hand washing, cuts not covered
  • Mucous Membrane: splashes to eyes, nose or mouth
  • Ingestion: eating or drinking in contaminated areas (e.g., labs), not washing hands after wearing gloves and then handling food or tobacco products, applying lip balm or chewing gum in contaminated areas.