Cleanup involving biohazards involves a much more stringent disinfecting process than standard home or business cleaning. It requires knowledge of biohazard processes, safety standards and equipment, as well as the ability to safely dispose of contaminated material. When the scene of biohazard contamination isn’t cleaned up properly, those using the immediate area post-cleanup are at risk of infection or harm. This, of course, defeats the whole purpose of biohazard disinfection in the first place and is a worst-case scenario for any cleanup crew.
The Importance of Proper Disinfection
In standard crime scene and post-accident/death cleanup, the largest risk is from BBP, or ‘bloodborne pathogens’. This can include bacteria such as MRSA, or viruses like Hepatitis and HIV.
For dealing with contagious diseases that can spread more easily, such as the Corona Virus that causes Covid-19, stringent disinfection protocols are arguably even more important.
Clean up protocols should always allow the rulings outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) ‘Bloodborne Pathogen Standards’. These standards stipulate factors such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as providing the property owner with necessary safety equipment so they can access other areas of their home or business without the risk of contamination.
It is important that the team working on your property knows how to correctly clean different bodily fluids. Less reputable teams may spot clean blood with a topical solution. While this may give the appearance of a thorough cleaning, the area hasn’t been correctly disinfected. That quick cleaning may reduce bacteria numbers in the area, but it is unlikely that they have been wholly eradicated. Over time, the bacteria will grow and constitute a health risk to those exposed. This bacteria growth is also likely to produce a strong odor.
To help avoid this, most biohazard remediation companies will use testing to measure the activity of pathogens in the disinfected space. If the numbers are anything above zero, then more cleaning will need to be done to ensure the long-term safety of those using the space.
What is Biohazard Remediation?
Biohazard remediation is often called crime scene cleanup, however, this isn’t the only use for this type of service. While you may think that biohazard remediation solely involves cleaning, the process is much more thorough and in-depth than a standard cleaning service.
Where standard cleaning services work with dust and dirt, biohazard cleaning deals with bodily fluids and dangerous chemicals. Biohazard cleaning is needed in high-risk environments such as crime scenes, accidents, and places where a death has occurred. The biohazard technicians work to not only clean the area, but also remove potential sources of contamination as well as disinfect the affected area(s).
The Remediation Process
The biohazard disinfection process tends to follow five key steps:
Assessment: The team will assess the scene and identify the areas that need remediation as well as the equipment that will be needed to do so.
Control: The area is secured and separated from the rest of the home/business, and access to the area is strictly controlled while cleaning commences.
Removal: Biological matter will be removed, along with any contaminated items which cannot be safely cleaned, such as textiles.
Cleaning: The area is cleaned and disinfected. Where needed, the area will also be deodorized.
Verification: The crew will use diagnostic equipment to confirm that the area is safe for use.