We are occasionally asked about whether or not it is possible for an infectious disease carrying subject to pass
along the infection to an Operator of a breath testing instrument. While we are not experts on infectious
diseases and would urge our customers to seek direction from medical experts for questions related to the transmission
of any disease. There are, however, several issues to consider with regard to reducing the likelihood of disease
transmission when using a breath alcohol detection device.
Staying out of the direct line of the subject’s breath flow is obviously a good practice to avoid airborne transmission of
disease. Certain instruments are designed to maximize your ability to comfortably position yourself such that you avoid
being in the subject’s breath flow path while collecting a sample for analysis.
An operator’s use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE; gloves, masks or respirators) are additional safeguards which
can be considered to further reduce the likelihood of disease transmission while performing a sample collection.
For instruments where you are touching parts of the device that the subject has touched or blown on, we agree with the
CDC’s belief that your first line of defense is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol?based
cleaner. If you use an alcohol based hand sanitizer and you are operating a hand held breath analyzer, wait 10 minutes
after your hands have dried to perform a breath test. After 10 minutes, residual alcohol from the hand cleaner should
have evaporated into the ambient environment, eliminating the possibility of it contaminating a subsequent breath