The magnitude of risk for occupational exposures to biohazardous agents found in blood was assessed by 800 environmental samples taken from a total of 10 clinical and research laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Thirty-one samples from 11 work stations in three laboratories contained hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg). Observations of workers indicated that environmental contamination arose from several sources. Among the 11 work stations with HBsAg environmental samples, eight had high work loads, seven had inappropriate behaviors, and nine had flawed laboratory techniques. This information suggests that a multifactorial approach is needed to minimize the risk of laboratory-associated infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health