OSHA Rules and Regulations Regarding Biopsy Kits

What If OSHA Pays a Visit?

OSHA has authority over two areas in the dental office: hazard communication (right-to-know laws) and infection control.

The hazard communication rule sets standards designed to ensure that products containing hazardous chemicals are properly handled by employees. The rule requires chemical manufacturers and importers to convey hazard information to employers through labels on containers and material safety data sheets (MSDSs). All employers must pass this information on to their employees.

In the area of infection control, OSHA is utilizing its general authority to regulate workplace safety by imposing basic infection control requirements on dental and other health care workers.

In order to enforce its workplace regulations, OSHA is authorized by statute to conduct workplace inspections.

From: The Journal of the Philadelphia County Dental Society, May/June 1989, Vol. 54, No. 6

Toxicity of Fixative Solution
OSHA Regulations on Toxic Materials in Dental Offices
  • Material used: 10% buffered formalin
  • Although formaldehyde is recognized as a toxic material, the solution sent to dental offices for use as a tissue fixative has been diluted and buffered with sodium phosphate.
  • The solution provided in the biopsy kits is 10% formalin. Each bottle will be labeled as such to satisfy OSHA requirements.
  • Each specimen bottle contains approximately 10 ml of this solution, and it is secured with a screw cap. As long as the cap is secure, the solution will not leak.
Material Safety Data Sheets

A copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) can be obtained from our supplier. Because of recent OSHA inspections of dental offices citing mishandling of hazardous chemicals, we are providing you with this sheet as a preventive measure to be posted or utilized as you see fit to follow OSHA guidelines.

  • Specimen bottles should be kept tightly capped until just before usage.
  • Tissue specimens should be placed in the specimen bottle and the cap secured. Care should be taken when collecting specimens to avoid contamination of the outside of the container. If contamination occurs, the container should be cleaned and disinfected as recommended by CDC and the ADA.
  • Patient's name, date of biopsy and doctor's name should be marked on the specimen bottle as soon as it is recapped.

In the event of spillage, please refer to the sections on Health Hazards and Spill/Leak Procedures on the enclosed MSDS.

We thank you again for using our biopsy service. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.