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Biological Safety

  1. Metal and biohazard sharps: Any sharps made of metal (including, but not limited to: scalpel blades, razor blades and needles), and/or biohazard-contaminated glassware will be placed in a puncture-resistant container. When said container is full, it will be autoclaved (if necessary), sealed and placed in a cardboard box, which will in turn be sealed. The container and box will both be labeled with the laboratory PI’s name, a contact phone number, the date, and the words, “Decontaminated Laboratory Sharps” written conspicuously on the top of the box.
  2. Glassware: Any non-biohazard-contaminated glassware will be placed in a cardboard box. When full, the box will be sealed and placed in a second box, which will be sealed. The outer box will be labeled with the laboratory PI’s name, a contact phone number, the date, and the words, “Sharps” (and/or) “Broken Glass” written conspicuously on the top of the box.
  3. Blood Borne Pathogens Waste: See Blood borne pathogens/Bio Hazardous Waste.

West Nile Virus

The state health department is urging folks in Colorado to take precautions to prevent exposure to the West Nile virus.  Contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) or Pueblo City - County Health Department to get more information about this virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and can affect animals and people.  Several cases of the virus have been confirmed in Colorado.  Visit the links provided above, which contain general information for all Colorado residents, or print the Colorado Department of Health Pamphlet for distribution. You can visit the following CDC links for further information: General Information, Animal infections, and Prevention.

On Campus consider the following guidelines:

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    You should review your outdoor programs and incorporate procedures that will reduce the risk of infection such as:

    • Limiting outside activity around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes feed. Altering schedules might be warranted - especially for events involving the elderly and small children.
    • Recommend that participants wear protective clothing such as lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
    • Provide insect repellants or ask participants to put on repellant prior to outdoor events and activities (Repellants with DEET are effective, but should be applied sparingly. Products under 10% DEET are recommended for children).
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    Indoors activities:

    • Don't leave doors and windows open unless they are screened. Avoid propping doors open even for short periods.
    • Make certain that screens are in good repair - free from openings.
    • Eliminate areas of standing water around entrances and elsewhere as applicable.
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    Grounds/Maintenance:

    • Eliminate or treat standing water. Avoid the formation of stagnant water.
    • Water collection areas and ponds should be treated for mosquito larvae (contact EH&S for information on various options)
    • Fix leaking fixtures as soon as possible and tighten loose seals.

    You can get printed information about the virus from EH&S. Call 549.2211 to receive pamphlets or contact the Pueblo City - County Health Department. A poster with procedures listed in Spanish is also available from EH&S or the health department.

Bird Testing

Though over 110 species of birds are known to have been infected with West Nile virus, most survive.  Thus far, testing locally is focused mostly on crows and jays found dead within Pueblo County.

If you spot dead birds (specifically birds in the corvid family such as crows, magpies, ravens, and jays - American crows constitute the majority of birds reported positive for WN virus) on campus grounds, contact the EH&S department at 549.2211.   Wear gloves to handle any carcass. On campus call EH&S for collection information and reporting. Off campus contact your local health department for information.

Blood - Borne Pathogens (BBP's)

Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens (BBP) such as the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS) can be fatal. These pathogens and others may be present in body fluids or secretions such as blood, saliva, semen and vaginal secretions, clinical specimens/cultures, urine, and sometimes vomit and feces. Typically, the risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens in the typical CSU-Pueblo setting is relatively low. However, there is a potential for exposure whenever and wherever there is contact with body fluids. Treat all blood and body fluid (regardless of the person it may be from) as though it were potentially infected. The following are some examples of your potential contact:

  • Administering first aid or CPR.
  • Assisting sick or injured people who are bleeding, coughing-up blood or vomiting.
  • Needle prick (e.g., while handling trash; administering medical assistance; drawing blood; or even moving furniture). Note- Seek medical advice after reporting the incident.
  • Laboratory work involving unfixed tissue or organ from a human, or contact with HIV/ HBV-containing culture medium/solution, blood, tissue or organ.
  • Cuts by sharp contaminated objects.
  • Performing clean-up or custodial tasks.
  • Handling laundry.
  • Handling items contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids.*

*If you encounter a housekeeping situation with a high potential for exposure, do not handle the contaminated items. Secure the area and contact EH&S at x2211 from a campus phone. Special procedures are used for decontamination and disposal. Only trained staff should conduct these tasks. Basic safety procedures consist of minimizing potential contact with body fluids and protecting exposure routes to your body by wearing personal protective equipment. Basic protection may consist of the following - depending on the type of exposure anticipated and the nature of the work being conducted:

  • latex gloves or other non-permeable (liquid-proof) glove
  • safety glasses with side shields or goggles
  • puncture-resistant gloves
  • microshield (a uni-directional shield used when administering CPR)
  • medical face mask
  • leak proof apron

When handling potentially contaminated media, avoid touching your face (nose, eyes and mouth). Practice good sanitation. Wash hands thoroughly with non-abrasive soap before eating, applying cosmetics, smoking or handling contact lenses. Disinfect contaminated surfaces and items with a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach.

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    Sample Exposure Routes/Pathways:

    • Mucus membranes (eyes, mouth, nose) or dermal
      • Breaks, nicks, or cuts in the skin & unhealed injuries
      • Excessively dry cracked skin or cuticles
      • Open skin or mouth sores
      • Acne
      • Dermatitis
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    Other Potential Forms of Exposure:

    • Sexual contact
    • Ingestion of contaminated media/fluids
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    CPR or First Aid

    If you plan to administer First Aid or CPR in your area, it is important that you have an adequate first aid kit. The kit should include latex gloves, safety glasses with side shields or goggles, and mouth shields (microshields - unidirectional barrier for administering CPR). If you are not trained in first aid, make as little contact as possible with the injured.
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    Post Exposure

    Immediately following contact wash affected areas (hands, arms, face) with non-abrasive soap. Contact with mucus membranes (eyes, nose or mouth) should be thoroughly rinsed (use eyewash station for eyes if available - rinse for at least 15 minutes with tepid water). Put any items (such as gloves or clothes) that have blood or body fluids on them in a sealed plastic bag and mark it bio-hazard or use pre-labeled biohazard bags/containers. [call EH&S at 549.2211 for proper disposal  procedures]

    If you believe you have had a high risk exposure to BBP during work, it is essential that you report the potential exposure to your supervisor and HR immediately and seek medical advice. Students should contact the Student Health Center for advice and medical attention. Always consult your doctor or the Student Health Center for advice after any potential exposure.

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    Pre-Exposure

    Pre-exposure vaccines are available for Hepatitis-B. Consult the Student Health Center or your employer for additional information. No preventative vaccine currently exists for HIV (AIDS virus).
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    Remember

    HBV and HIV are not spread through normal contact. These are not airborne pathogens like cold or flu viruses. In normal situations, you can work safely with people infected with HIV.

Environmental Health & Safety Director

Staff

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