How to Get Back to Business as Usual Following Natural DisastersJuly 4, 2023
How to Choose the Best Disaster Recovery CompanyJuly 11, 2023
Not all cleanups require a little disinfectant and elbow grease. Accidents, crimes, and natural disasters often leave hazardous materials contaminating the area. Handling these materials isn’t suitable for the general public — it is often illegal. Known as biohazard cleanup, the professionals must remove and remediate these harmful substances.
In this guide, we’ll explore what it involves, how to identify a biohazard, and when you should call in an expert remediation company.
What is a Biohazard?
A biohazard, short for biological hazard, refers to any biological substance capable of harming humans, animals, or the environment. Biohazard exposure is associated with diseases, infections, or other health complications.
Common biohazards include:
Contaminated blood, saliva, urine, feces, vomit, or other bodily fluids carry pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
Human or Animal Remains
Decomposing bodies or body parts can harbor infectious microorganisms and release toxic gases.
Improper disposal of used needles, bandages, gloves, and other contaminated medical supplies, handled by professional biohazard cleaners can potentially spread diseases.
Mold, fungi, and bacteria grow in water-damaged buildings and cause respiratory issues or infections.
Industrial accidents, spills, or illegal drug labs release hazardous chemicals that threaten human health and the environment.
What is Biohazard Cleanup?
It is the process of safely removing, cleaning, and decontaminating areas exposed to biohazardous materials. This specialized service involves the following steps:
- Assessment: Evaluating the scope and severity of the contamination to determine the appropriate cleanup methods and personal protective equipment (PPE) required.
- Containment: Establish barriers around the affected area to prevent cross-contamination and limit exposure to hazardous materials.
- Removal: Collecting, packaging, and disposing of biohazardous waste according to local, state, and federal regulations.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing: Thoroughly cleaning affected surfaces with specialized equipment and chemicals removes contaminants and potential health risks.
- Deodorization: Neutralizing any lingering odors resulting from the biohazard.
- Restoration: Repairing or replacing damaged materials to return the area to its pre-incident condition.
When is Biohazard Cleaning Needed?
It is necessary whenever there is potential exposure to hazardous biological materials. Some common situations requiring cleanup services include:
Homicides, assaults, and other violent crimes often involve blood and bodily fluids that require professional cleanup.
Decomposition releases hazardous substances, making the scene unsafe for untrained individuals.
Self-inflicted injuries leave behind blood and other biohazards that must be cleaned up and decontaminated.
Accidents And Traumatic Injuries
Bodily fluids, like blood and other biohazards, are often found at the scene of a severe accident.
Infectious Disease Outbreaks
In a disease outbreak, cleaning and disinfecting contaminated areas to prevent further spread is crucial, emphasizing the importance of professional biohazard cleanup services — a lesson we’ve all learned from COVID-19.
Excessive clutter and unsanitary conditions can lead to the presence of biohazards, such as mold, animal waste, or decomposing organic material.
Drug Lab Remediation
The chemicals used in illegal drug production can create dangerous and toxic environments requiring professional decontamination.
Biohazard Remediation: Rules and Regulations
Cleaning up biohazards is highly regulated due to the potential risks involved. Despite this, only California and Florida require crime scene cleanup businesses to obtain permits before handling hazardous materials (e.g., blood, body parts, and other bodily fluids).
Such permits ensure cleanup companies handle hazardous materials safely and dispose of them in compliance with stringent regulations. As a registered company, United Restoration has the training and equipment to remove biohazardous waste correctly.
At the Federal Level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) monitors the handling and disposal of biohazardous materials. While no federal laws exist, OSHA publishes guidelines and standards, including Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and Hazard Communication Standard.
These set forth requirements for employers to protect biohazard cleaners from exposure to hazardous substances, detailing the appropriate training, PPE, and procedures for dealing with biohazardous material.
Compliance with OSHA’s standards is critical for the safety of both cleanup personnel and the general public.
Why Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional is essential for various reasons, including safety, proper disposal, and the emotional well-being of those involved. Here are some key factors highlighting the importance of hiring experts:
- Biohazardous materials pose significant health risks and require safe handling and disposal.
- Professional cleaners have the knowledge, experience, and PPE to safely handle and remove these materials.
- Disposing of biohazardous waste is subject to strict regulations, and professional cleanup companies ensure compliance to avoid legal issues and penalties.
- An expert biohazard cleaner uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove contaminants and restore the affected area effectively.
- Cleaners handle traumatic situations with compassion and discretion to support emotional well-being.
- Many cleanup companies work directly with insurance providers to assist with claims and alleviate stress for those affected.
When to Hire Biohazard Cleanup Companies
Dealing with biohazards is almost always an impetus to call in the experts. If you encounter any of the following scenarios, it’s time to contact a professional company:
- The presence of blood, bodily fluids, or other potentially infectious materials.
- Unattended death or decomposition.
- Crime scenes involving violence or homicide.
- Suicide or self-inflicted injuries.
- Accidents result in significant blood loss or exposure to hazardous substances.
- Infectious disease outbreaks or contamination.
- Hoarding situations with unsanitary conditions and biohazardous materials.
- Drug lab decontamination and cleanup.
Handling biohazardous materials without proper training, equipment, and expertise can put you at risk and result in further complications. Trust the professionals at United Restoration, a leading company for biohazard cleanup, to provide the necessary services to restore your property to a safe and clean condition.
Call us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you in your time of need.