Divisions
Biological Exposures and Spills

Exposures to human blood or body fluids should be reported immediately to the Employee Blood and Body Fluid Exposure Hotline by dialing 115 or (919) 684-8115 if off- campus (or on a cellphone)

Always practice "Universal Precautions" when handling human blood or body fluids.

Biological Spill on Body

  • Remove contaminated clothing.
  • Wash area with soap and water for 1 minute.  For eye exposures, flood eyes with water from eyewash station.
  • Obtain medical attention, if necessary.
  •  Report incident to supervisor and complete HR work-related injury/illness report or appropriate incident report.
  • Call Blood and Body Fluid Hotline (115 or 919- 684-8115) to report exposure.

Minor Spill Involving Blood or Body Fluids

  • Wear disposable gloves. If there’s potential for splash, use face protection such as a surgical mask and safety glasses or a face shield.
  • Cover spill with paper towel or other absorbent materials.
  • Clean area of all visible fluids with detergent (soap/water).
  • Decontaminate area with 1:10 dilution of bleach: water if the surface is porous and 1:100 if the surface is hard & smooth; or use an approved hospital disinfectant.
  • Use only forceps or other mechanical devices to pick-up sharps, in any. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS TO CLEAN UP SHARPS! Contaminated sharps must be disposed in a sharps container.
  • Place all disposable materials (non-sharps) into a plastic leak-proof bag or medical waste container and dispose of appropriately.

Spill Involving Microorganisms Requiring Biosafety Level 1 or 2 (BSL1 or BSL2) Containment (e.g., E. coli, Staphylococcus, bloodborne pathogens, adenoviruses, recombinant DNA, biologically-derived toxins)

  • Alert people in immediate area of spill.
  • Put on personal protective equipment (at minimum lab coat and gloves, and, if needed, face protection such as a surgical mask and safety glasses or a face shield.
  • Cover spill with paper towel or other absorbent materials.
  • Carefully pour a freshly prepared 1:10 dilution of bleach:water (at least 0.525% sodium hypochlorite final concentration) or appropriate disinfectant around the edges of the spill and then into the spill. Avoid splashing, spraying or squirting the disinfectant.
  • Allow 20 minutes of contact time.
  • Wipe up the spill using paper towels. Work from the outer edges into the center.
  • Use only forceps or other mechanical devices to pick-up sharps, in any. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS TO CLEAN UP SHARPS! Contaminated sharps must be disposed in a sharps container.
  • Clean spill area with fresh towels soaked in 1:10 bleach or appropriate disinfectant.
  • Place towels in a leak-proof bag and dispose using the approved biohazardous waste processing method.

Spill Involving Microorganisms Requiring Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) Containment Outside the BSC (e.g., Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) cultures)

  • Attend to injured or contaminated persons and remove them from the area per facility-specific training.
  • Alert people in immediate area to evacuate.
  • Close doors to affected area and do not enter area for at least 1 hour.
  • Request a person knowledgeable of the incident and laboratory area to assist in proper clean-up.
  • Wearing facility-specific PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, appropriate respirator (N95 or PAPR with HEPA filters) and shoe covers) clean up spills as indicated above for Biosafety Level 1 or 2 organisms.

OESO Biological Safety Division (919) 684-8822

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