What are bloodborne pathogens?
Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms found in blood or other bodily fluids which can infect and cause disease in humans, such as the Hepatitis B virus or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.
How are bloodborne pathogens transmitted?
Pathogens are spread when contaminated blood or bodily fluid enters the body of another person. This can occur through open cuts or wounds coming in contact with blood, sexual contact, or puncturing of the skin by a contaminated object (such as a needle or scalpel).
How to Protect Yourself from Infection
The Center for Disease Control recommends that all blood and bodily fluids should be treated as if it is contaminated with bloodborne pathogens. Those potentially in contact with blood or bodily fluids should follow proposed infection control precautions, including choosing gloves that pass the ASTM F1671 viral test for resistance to bloodborne pathogens.
ASTM F1671 was designed to model the viral penetration of Hepatitis B and HIV transmitted in blood and bodily fluids. This pass/fail test assesses the capability of a material to prevent the passage of pathogens. Gloves that pass this test are considered to be highly protective against transmission of bloodborne pathogens, and are typically made of nitrile or latex.