US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1030

December 14, 1992

Ms. Marjorie P. Alloy
Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay
8251 Greensboro Drive
Suite 1100
McLean, Virginia 22102-3844

Dear Ms. Alloy:

This is in response to your letter of November 23, addressed to the Acting Assistant Secretary, Dorothy L. Strunk. You wrote on behalf of the International Lactation Consultants Association and inquired into the applicability of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens," to breast milk.

Breast milk is not included in the standard's definition of "other potentially infectious materials". Therefore contact with breast milk does not constitute occupational exposure, as defined by the standard. This determination was based on the Centers for Disease Control's findings that human breast milk has not been implicated in the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or the hepatitis B virus (HBV) to workers although it has been implicated in perinatal transmission of HIV and the hepatitis surface antigen has been found in the milk of mothers infected with HBV. For this reason, gloves should be worn by health-care workers in situations where exposures to breast milk might be frequent, for example, in milk banking.

We hope this information is responsive to your concerns and thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.

Sincerely,



Roger A. Clark,
Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close