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What Types of Situations Require A Biohazard Cleaning?

Updated: 5 days ago



What Types of Situations Require A Biohazard Cleaning?

A biohazard can have many levels as established by the CDC and can be dangerous to the health of humans and the environment, yet be undetectable to the human eye.

Some biohazards are infectious, while others can cause injury.

In most cases, a biohazard cleanup process must be undertaken to either mitigate or eliminate any danger.

Common types of biohazards include situations where there is blood, biological waste, bodily fluids, or chemicals.

Read on for detailed descriptions of situations where biohazard cleaning is required, and what to do if you need such services.


Scenarios That Require Biohazard Cleanup

Here are the most common scenarios that would require a biohazard cleaning process.

Bodily fluids and blood

Blood and bodily fluids, like urine, vomit, and spit/saliva, are considered hazardous materials. These liquids can contain parasites, bacteria, and viruses which can spread disease. Bloodborne pathogens like HIV, Hepatitis, and other diseases like tuberculosis or E. coli can spread when these materials are not cleaned properly.

Unattended death and decomposition

An unattended death occurs when a person dies and the body is not discovered until days, weeks, or months after death. Often, the body has started the decomposition process.

Professional biohazard cleaning services are required to address such a situation.

Depending on the stage of decomposition, significant cleaning and disinfection are required.

When a body decomposes, it releases fluids and gases which could contain harmful pathogens. Professional cleaners will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to handle such a situation to restore the environment to a habitable state.

Crime scenes

The definition of a crime scene is broad, including places where homicide, violent attacks, suicide, traumatic incidents, or drug-related situations have occurred.

Crime scene cleanup involves biohazard cleanup to remove bodily fluids, dangerous chemicals, and illegal substances. There might also be sharp objects at a crime scene involving vehicles, like knives or needles, which must be safely disposed of.

Sewage

Sewage and human fecal matter are considered a biohazard. A professional team will be required to deal with severe sewage backups or storm overflows, particularly if it causes an area to be flooded by toxic waste.

People may also be exposed to human waste when caring for a severely ill or elderly individual. Although biohazard cleanup crews won't have to be called frequently in such cases, if accidents happen, it might be necessary to call a professional biohazard cleaning company to help decontaminate the site.

Animal waste

Animal waste includes carcasses, feces, blood, fluids, and bedding materials. These are all considered biohazardous materials and need to be disposed of correctly (and not just taken to the landfill).

The most common animal waste that requires biohazard cleanup is feces. Animal infestations, like rats, bats, or squirrels deposit a lot of fecal matter. Usually, these infestations occur in poorly insulated areas, like attics or crawl spaces.

If not properly taken care of by professional biohazard cleaning services, the airborne pathogens and particles can pose serious health risks.

Microbiological waste

Microbiological waste includes several materials and substances, like laboratory specimens, biological tools, or medical equipment.

These objects or materials can contain bacteria or viruses, which need professional cleaning to get rid of any threats to human or environmental health.

Any accident in a lab setting that results in a spill will require biohazard cleanup.

Hoarding situations

Hoarding is considered a mental illness, and results in someone living in extremely unhealthy circumstances due to collecting (and holding on to) a lot of materials and objects.

Because of a lack of cleaning, a hoarder's residence is often infested with cockroaches and mold, and in extreme cases, there might be animal waste, carcasses, and human waste at the property.

Many people facing a hoarding situation are not aware that it requires extra precaution when cleaning up. Even though someone can start throwing away items to clear up the area, professional biohazard cleanup teams should be called to minimize the risk of injury, disease, or exposure to toxic substances.

Flooding

Water itself is not a biohazard. However, when a burst pipe, overflowing river, or backed-up stormwater system starts flooding, it can cause the spread of bacteria and microbes. The flood damage will have to be handled by a professional cleanup team.

Water can also cause mold growth after a flood dissipates, which will require biohazard cleaning professionals to come in and remediate the situation.

Sharp objects

You might be tempted to pick up glass or nails with your bare hands, but if you don't know the origins of the objects, it is best to leave it to the professionals.

Glass, wood, needles, razors, and scalpels are all considered biohazards, and require proper disposal. This is especially true if these materials were found at a crime scene or in a public space.

Industrial chemical spillages

Industrial environments typically house dangerous chemicals.

Industrial accidents that result in chemical spills will require a biohazard cleanup team to come in, wearing the proper safety gear, to remediate the situation and restore a safe working environment.

Infectious disease outbreaks

When infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics, or pandemics occur, biohazard cleaning services are essential. These professional teams will use their experience to disinfect affected areas and ensure disease control to protect the public.


The Risks Of Biohazard Remediation

It might be tempting to tackle biohazard cleanup yourself including bioremediation, but there's a reason that professionals offer these services.

Dealing with hazardous materials, whether they are sharp objects or fluids, poses significant risks to people.

Here are the main risks of biohazard cleanup:

  • Exposure to hazardous biological material, especially when dealing with an unattended death and decomposing body.

  • Dealing with dangerous chemical spills which can harm the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

  • Handling sharp objects that can cut or pierce the skin. Often, these objects have been exposed to bodily fluids or excrement.

  • Exposure to pathogens in the air and blood can spread infection or disease.

  • Emotional trauma due to exposure to violent crime scenes or death.


How To Get Help With Biohazard Cleanup

It is for the reasons above that biohazard cleanup should be left to a professional biohazard cleaning company.

Companies that specialize in biohazard decontamination, like Chore-olgy, use specialized equipment and the correct cleaning supplies to effectively and safely clear up hazardous materials or crime scenes.

You might be tempted to clean up a biohazard scenario yourself; however, you'll not only expose yourself to risks, but you're also unlikely to completely disinfect the area, leaving behind harmful microbes.

Experts, like Chore-ology, can restore places to a safe and habitable state, giving you peace of mind.

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