5 Examples of Biological Materials and Their Potential Health Risks

Can you name 5 examples of biological materials? According to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, “Biological substances include any materials that contain or are reasonably expected to contain a microorganism (such as bacteria, viruses, rickettsia, parasites, or fungi) or other agents that can cause disease in humans or animals.” This article will identify 5 common biological materials and explain why exposure to them could be dangerous.

5 Examples of Biological Materials

  1. Blood
  2. Urine

  3. Human tissue

  4. Semen

  5. Vaginal secretions

Where are these 5 examples of biological materials commonly found? If you said hospitals and doctor’s offices, you are correct! However, human biological materials may also be found at the scene of a violent crime, traumatic accident, or unattended death. How can human biological materials be dangerous? Not all human biological materials are dangerous. However, some biological materials could contain bloodborne pathogens that are a potential health threat to humans. Some bloodborne pathogens worth mentioning include:

  • HIV – A virus that attacks the immune system and causes AIDS.
  • MRSA – Short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA is a bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics.
  • Hepatitis B, C – Both Hepatitis B and C are infections of the liver. Currently, there is a vaccine to prevent Hepatitis B, but not Hepatitis C.
  • Norovirus – The most common cause of viral gastroenteritis.
  • Influenza – Also known as the flu, influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system.
  • C. diff – Short for clostridium difficile, C. diff is a bacterium that can cause life-threatening inflammation of the colon if left untreated.

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