4.3.5 Inoculation

The single procedure that presents the greatest risk of exposure through inoculation is the use of a needle and syringe.  These are used principally for the transfer of materials from diaphragm-stoppered containers and for the inoculation of animals.  Their use in the transfer of materials from diaphragm-stoppered containers can result in dispersal of biohazardous material onto surfaces and into the air.  Depending on the route of inoculation of animals, using a needle and syringe may also result in contamination of body surfaces.  Because of the imminent hazard of self-inoculation, the use of a needle and syringe should be limited to those procedures where there is no alternative.  When needles must be used, employ safety syringes and perform such procedures with the greatest possible care.  Keep in mind, the primary rule to remember when using a needle or syringe is to never recap!!  Place the uncapped needle or syringe into a sharps container.  Do not overfill the container.  Inoculation can also result from animal bites and scratches.