Transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens

Structure of Hepatitis C Virus

Bloodborne pathogens are transmitted when contaminated blood or body fluids enter the body of another person. In the workplace setting, transmission is most likely to occur through:

Unbroken skin forms an impervious barrier against bloodborne pathogens. However, infected blood or body fluids can enter your system percutaneously through:

  • Open sores
  • Cuts
  • Abrasions
  • Acne
  • Any sort of damaged or broken skin such as sunburn or blisters

Bloodborne pathogens can also be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth. For example, a splash of contaminated blood to your eye, nose, or mouth could result in transmission.

There are also many ways that bloodborne pathogens are not transmitted. For example, bloodborne pathogens are not transmitted by:

It is important that you know which ways are viable means of transmission for the bloodborne pathogens in your workplace, and which are not.