Bloodborne Pathogens Program

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Purpose and Scope

The Bloodborne Pathogens Control Program is designed to minimize personal exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These guidelines describe precautions that must be taken by Bates College personnel whose work involves potential contact with human blood and potentially infectious materials, and defines the responsibility of Bates College personnel.

Implementation of the Bloodborne Pathogens Program is mandated by OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard in 29 CFR 1920.1030. This standard was revised on January 18, 2001 to incorporate changes required by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. This regulation applies to all personnel like to have occupational exposures to human blood and other potentially affected materials.


Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to:

  • Human Immumodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), which causes Hepatitis B, a liver disease
  • Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), which causes Hepatitis C, a liver disease

Potentially Infectious Materials

Potentially infectious materials (PIMs) are materials that can carry bloodborne pathogens. They include:

  • human blood and blood products
  • vaginal secretions
  • semen
  • spinal fluid
  • amniotic fluid
  • other internal human body fluids from joints, chest cavity, heart sac, or abdomen
  • saliva during dental procedures (special case due to liklehood of blood being present)
  • breast milk (only by ingestion – known to transmit HIV)
  • human or primate cell lines or strains that have not been documented to be free of bloodborne pathogens by testing
  • unfixed human tissues or organs (living or dead)
  • blood or tissues from animals experimentally infected with bloodborne pathogens
  • cultures or other solutions containing specific bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV, HBV, or HCV
  • equipment contaminated with human blood or other PIMs
  • any bodily fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, or that is difficult or impossible to distinguish

Potentially infectious materials do not include the following, unless the material is visibly contaminated with blood or is difficult or impossible to distinguish:

  • tears
  • sweat
  • saliva (except during dental procedures)
  • vomit
  • fecies
  • urine
  • nose fluids, and
  • intact human skin (living or dead source.



Decontamination and Disposal