What are Bloodborne Pathogens? A Basic Guide

Do you work in an environment that is going to expose you to bloodborne pathogens? If so, you will want to make sure that you understand exactly what bloodborne pathogens are, the dangers that they can post, and the training and control measures that can help to keep you and others safe.

To get a good understanding of what these pathogens are, it is important to become acquainted with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s bloodborne pathogens standard and to understand what a bloodborne pathogen is in the first place.

What Is a Bloodborne Pathogen?

Bloodborne pathogens can be spread through the blood, as well as through other bodily fluids. The pathogens have the capability to allow for the transmission of disease to those who are exposed to them if proper precautions have not been taken. There are many different types of diseases that can be transmitted through bloodborne pathogens, and many of them do not have any cure.

Some of the most problematic diseases include HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, syphilis, and West Nile Virus. These are extremely dangerous, and if the bodily fluids from these patients are not given the proper respect and care they deserve, they can cause a substantial amount of harm to a lot of people. The OSHA regulations, which are used when coming up with the training courses for certification, help to provide a pathway for working around these pathogens.

OSHA’s 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1030

This code is applicable to anyone who is likely to be in contact with blood and other infectious materials during the course of their job. It refers not only to blood, but to all fluids of the body, including saliva, such as in dental procedures, semen, cerebrospinal fluid, vaginal secretions, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, pericardial fluid, and any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids.