When a biological substance poses a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily humans, it is termed as biohazard or biological hazard. This could include a sample of a microorganism, virus or toxin (from a biological source) that can affect human health.
A biohazard could also be a substance harmful to other animals.
Biological agents that can cause cause a biohazard includes micro organisms and toxins produced by living organisms.
Influenza is an example of a biohazard which affects a broad population of workers
A Biohazard can result from biological waste often termed as biohazardous waste. Biohazardous waste, also called infectious waste or biomedical waste, is any waste containing infectious materials or potentially infectious substances such as blood.
Sharp wastes such as needles, blades, glass pipettes, and other wastes that can cause injury during handling are of utmost concern.
Biomedical Wastes includes:
• Human or animal specimen cultures from medical/pathology labs. • Cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories.
• Wastes from the production or testing of bacteria, viruses, spores and vaccines, certain discarded animal
vaccines, and culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures.
• Human or animal specimens, tissues, parts, fluids, or carcasses that are suspected of being contaminated
with infectious agents known to be contagious to humans.
• Waste which contains recognizable fluid blood, fluid blood products, containers or equipment containing blood that is fluid, or blood from animals known to be infected with diseases which are highly communicable to humans.
• Discarded materials contaminated with excretion, exudate or secretions from humans or animals that are contaminated with highly communicable diseases or diseases of animals that are highly communicable to humans.
• Waste pharmaceuticals not regulated by EPA as RCRA hazardous wastes or controlled substances.
Wastes that are mentioned above or sharps waste AND generated or produced from:
Diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals.
• Research pertaining to the above activities.
• The production or testing of biologicals (medicinal preparations made from living organisms and their
products, including but not limited to, serums, vaccines, antigens and antitoxins).
• The accumulation of properly contained home-generated sharps waste that is brought by a patient, etc.
• Urine, feces, saliva, sputum, nasal secretions, sweat, tears, or vomitus that contains fluid blood.