Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
The biologists I know who handle chironomids are no sicker or crazier than the ones who just play on computers all day, so I think the risk of handling insect blood is slight. There have been reports of skin irritations after handling bloodworms, but the problem has never been severe enough for anyone to bother figuring out what the agent is - a protein, a toxin, sharp bits on the exoskeleton, ??
Just do like your basic paranoid biologist and wash your hands and arms before working on the aquarium, and handle things like bloodworms with a spatula or other tool. And if you do get addicted to bloodworm popsicles be sure to donate your body to science so we'll know for sure whether bloodworms are as healthy as, say, blood sausages.