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What is Biohazard?

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Biohazards are biological materials that may be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. They can be found in a variety of places, including laboratories and hospitals. Biohazard signs and symbols help alert people when they are in proximity with biohazards.

What are Biohazards?

A biohazard is any biological substance that could cause harm to humans or the environment. Biohazards include bacteria, viruses, toxins, and prions (which cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). Biohazards can be found in laboratories and hospitals, but they may also exist outside of those environments.

Types of biohazards:

1. Bloodborne pathogens. These are microorganisms found in blood and body fluids. Examples include HIV, hepatitis B and C, and human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV).

2. Infectious material. This can be infectious to humans or animals, but not both. Examples include bacteria, viruses (including influenza), fungi and prions that cause diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

For a substance to be considered a biohazard it must meet all four of these requirements:

  • Be pathogenic (capable of causing harm)
  • Be transmissible by direct or indirect contact with an infected individual or contaminated object/material; this includes droplets in the air from sneezing or coughing
  • Have the potential capacity to cause death if untreated
  • Must be able to cause serious illness/injury if misused

Biohazard Symbol

The biohazard symbol is a triangle with a line through it. It's used to warn people that there is a risk of infection from hazardous materials or bacteria. You may see the biohazard symbol on containers of hazardous materials, in places where there are dangerous amounts of blood-borne pathogens (bacteria that cause diseases when transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids), and in laboratories where potentially infectious materials are being handled, stored, and disposed of safely.

Biohazard signs

Biohazard signs are used to warn people of the presence of biohazards. This means that these kinds of biohazard signs are used to warn people of the presence of infectious agents. The most common types of infectious agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. These types of infectious agents can be found in food products and plants as well as in animals and humans. 


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