OSHA defines blood-borne pathogens as “infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans” (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/). They include the deadly Hepatitis B and C viruses and also HIV.

The Hepatitis B virus can live for up to a week on a contaminated surface. Hepatitis C can live for up to 4 days outside the body.

Blood-borne pathogens are transmitted via blood and other bodily fluids when the blood or fluid makes contact with the bloodstream of an uninfected person. This contact happens when blood and bodily fluids touch the broken skin or mucous membrane of an uninfected person. “Broken skin” can be as tiny as an insect bite or pinhole puncture created by a needle or any sharp object. It can be simply the damaged skin of a sunburn or blister. Mucous membranes exist in the eyes, nose, and mouth. They also exist in the female genitals.

Some of the people most at risk for contact with blood-borne pathogens are first responders, medical and healthcare workers, housekeeping personnel, and anyone who shares a needle.

No individual, however, is at no risk for exposure.

Some common and potentially disastrous misconceptions we come across in our day-to-day business activities:

  1. I don’t have to wash my hands after removing protective gloves.
    False. Gloves can have tiny pinholes that you cannot see. Also, the simple act of removing them can transfer blood-borne pathogens to your skin. Always wash your hands thoroughly after removing gloves that have come in contact with blood and other bodily fluids.
  2. Dried blood on a surface is not dangerous.
    False. Many blood-borne pathogens can live for days outside the body. Dried blood is every bit as dangerous as fresh blood.
  3. If I don’t see any blood at an accident scene, I do not have to worry about blood-borne pathogens.
    False. Other bodily fluids carry blood-borne pathogens and also have occult (hidden) blood in them and can be as infectious as visible blood.
    Also, blood and bodily fluids are not always visible to the naked eye.
  4. I can place items soiled with blood in securely tied plastic bags and dispose of the bags with my regular garbage.

False. Items contaminated with blood and bodily fluids are considered regulated waste and must be disposed of in properly labeled containers or special biohazard bags and then safely transported to an approved facility.

Most of us never expect to come in contact with blood or bodily fluids, or with the deadly pathogens they can carry, in our day-to-day lives. We therefore are simply not prepared to protect ourselves or others. That’s why we recommend that you leave the cleanup of any accident site, especially if it is large, very messy, or publicly accessed, to a professional communicable disease cleanup company like ABT.
What can we do that you can’t?

A lot, when you consider that your safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of the public are at stake.

  • We use only professional-grade equipment, hospital-grade disinfectants, and OSHA-approved PPE (personal protective equipment).
  • We know how to eliminate all risk of personal injury, cross-contamination, and infection.
  • We know how to sanitize and decontaminate an accident site that involves blood and bodily fluids and restore it to a fully safe, clean environment.
  • We know what can be safely cleaned and disinfected and what can’t.
  • We know how and where to look for hidden blood-borne pathogens that you cannot see.
  • We have the knowledge and equipment to safely package, remove, and dispose of materials that cannot be safely decontaminated.
  • Our entire team is experienced and professionally trained to perform all these functions for you.

We are Advanced Bio Treatment, and we care about the communities we serve. Should you need our services, please call us at 800-295-1684. We give free quotes, provide emergency services, work with your insurance company, and respond 24/7/365.

Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment