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Biohazardous Risk at the Crime Scene

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 18 Issue: 9 Dated: (October 1991) Pages: 66,68,70
P R Laska
Date Published
3 pages
Police personnel must be aware of the health hazards involved in criminal investigations and must be routine and consistent in their approaches for protection against AIDS and HIV infection and other biological hazards.
Investigators rarely know if the donor of a body fluid has an infectious hazard. The procedures used are dictated by the circumstances. At a minimum, investigators should use latex gloves, a face mask, and closed vent goggles. Impermeable clothes may also be needed. Items such as pens, boots, goggles, and cameras must be wiped with alcohol or household bleach. Further precautions include protective padding for sharp items, avoiding the use of staples for sealing, avoiding entering the crime scene unless necessary, and destroying unclaimed evidence not needed for legal reasons. Law enforcement personnel should also be vaccinated for tetanus and hepatitis and screened for AIDS and tuberculosis. Photographs