Bloodborne Pathogens FAQ: What you Googled

Bloodborne Pathogens FAQ

In this article we take a look at some frequently asked questions about bloodborne pathogens. These questions come from people just like you who are trying to find out information about blood borne pathogens in general and in the workplace.

What do people ask about Bloodborne Pathogens?

These are some of the questions people type into search engines about bloodborne pathogens. This quick reference guide gave you the answers to these questions in a single place.

If you work around blood or other human body fluids you may be at risk of occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens.

If you are occupationally exposed your employer is required to provide you with bloodborne pathogens training in line with the OSHA BBP standard.

Bloodborne Pathogen Certification Tattoo
A Tattoo artist at work

No, tuberculosis is not a bloodborne pathogen, it is transmitted via other means.

Germs that can cause disease and long-lasting infections in human blood are called bloodborne pathogens. The most common and dangerous germs that can be spread through blood and other body fluids are Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). These viruses cause infections and liver damage.

The three most common bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) are HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are three of the most common bloodborne pathogens however of these 3 Hepatitis B (HBV) is by far the most infectious and most prevalent.

Some infections can be passed on in blood or in body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions and pleural fluid that can become mixed with blood. These are known as blood-borne viruses that are contracted via exposure to blood borne pathogens.

Certain bloodborne viruses can live for days outside the body and still cause infection. For example, the Hepatitis B virus can live in dried blood for up to one week (7 days). The Hepatitis C virus can survive for up to four days in dried blood.

MRSA is a bloodborne pathogen. It’s an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph and is now responsible for nearly 19,000 deaths each year, which more than the number killed by HIV annually.

Bloodborne pathogens are a risk you should never take the chance with. Simply touching blood, even dried blood can be extremely dangerous. If you come into contact with dried blood at any time the safest option is to approach it with caution and treat it the same as you would when encountering fresh blood.

When asking this question people usually mean the ‘big 3’ blood born pathogens. Currently, there is no cure for HIV or Hepatitis B (HBV), so these diseases can be life-threatening.

MRSA pneumonia - mostly cases caused by HA-MRSA, and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) pneumonia treated with vancomycin have been associated with mortality rates of 50% and 47%, respectively. MSSA pneumonia treated with β-lactams has been associated with only 5% mortality.

You can become infected with hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood of an infected person, in fact, just a small trace of blood can cause an infection. At room temperature, it's thought the virus may be able to survive outside the body in patches of dried blood on surfaces for up to four days so the answer is YES - it is possible to get HCV from dried blood.

Biohazardous waste, also called infectious waste or biomedical waste, is any waste containing infectious materials or potentially infectious substances such as blood and other human body fluids. Of special concern are sharp object waste such as needles, blades, glass items, and other wastes that can cause injury during handling. Blood is considered a biohazard and appropriate cleanup procedures must be followed in line with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard.

The tattooing procedure breaks the skin surface so there is indeed a possibility of bloodborne infections being transmitted via getting a tattoo. All tattoo studios and artists in the USA are compelled to comply with the OSHA BBP standard, and all artists must pass a bloodborne pathogens certification for tattoo artist training course - so the actual chance of infection is very slim in most cases.

As OSHA has stated - the tattoo studio owner or employer simply describing the tattoo artist as a ‘contractor’ does not make it so.

If the tattoo artist meets the criteria to be considered an employee then they are covered by the Bloodborne pathogen standard and the studio owner or employer must comply with the standard . fluids

If you are a tattoo studio owner or freelance tattooist and need more information please read the in depth analysis Are Freelance Tattoo Artists Covered by the Bloodborne Pathogens standard? 

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