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Handling Contaminated Laundry in a California Dental Office -CA Dental Regulations

Reusable contaminated protective attire must be laundered in accordance with Cal/OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Cal/OSHA defines “contaminated laundry” to be “laundry which has been soiled with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) or may contain sharps”.

Employees may NOT take their PPE home. The employer is responsible for cleaning, laundering, repairing, replacing, and/or disposing of PPE, including contaminated laundry. To launder contaminated protective attire, the employer may choose one of three methods:

  • Use a commercial laundry service that picks up and delivers. If the service does not follow standard precautions, color-code laundry red or label them with the biohazard symbol.
  • Install a washer and dryer at the office. Train employees on safe laundry handling and list laundry handling as part of employees’ job descriptions.
  • The employer, if not incorporated, may take laundry to his or her home to clean.

Contaminated laundry should be handled as little as possible. PPE should be worn when placing laundry into containers or bags for washing. If laundry is wet with blood/OPIM, it must be placed into an impervious bag.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.

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