There’s no telling what kind of damage will occur in the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. Homes and businesses have been contaminated with biological contaminants such as viruses and bacteria in previous disasters.
If these contaminants are not removed immediately, they can cause pandemics. Fortunately, many companies specialize in biohazard cleanup following natural disasters. Containment is critical in the event of a biohazard outbreak. To stop the virus from spreading further, you’ll need to act quickly and decisively, but you may not have much time.
An efficient cleanup process and quick thinking can help reduce the risk of contamination and keep your risk of exposure as low as possible. Knowing how to handle the situation will be essential if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
This article will help you get through any biohazard outbreak with minimal stress, from identifying the biohazard risks to taking measures to reduce those risks.
What Is Biohazard Cleanup
Biohazard cleanup is the removal of biological contaminants from a site following a biohazardous event or pandemic. Viral, bacterial, fungi, and spores are examples of biological contaminants that can be harmful to humans.
Biohazard cleanup is especially important after a natural disaster because these events can cause widespread contamination and create sources of infection if not properly decontaminated.
Importance of Biohazard Cleaning
Biohazard cleanup isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about protecting the public from infectious diseases.
Contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi can lead to serious illnesses such as the flu, pneumonia, and even death. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned as a society in the last few years, it’s that we must do everything possible to avoid health pandemics. If potentially hazardous materials are not removed, they have the potential to spread throughout the area and cause mass infections.
If you’ve ever wondered why crime scenes are cleaned up so quickly, it’s not because law enforcement wants to get it over with as soon as possible. It’s because they want to protect the people who live nearby from any diseases that may have been left behind. Biohazards left at the site can be carried away by flies and other insects, which can spread the contaminants to other areas.
Biohazards can not only endanger public health, but they can also cause damage to your property. Contaminants can wreak havoc on building materials and furniture, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Types of Biohazards
There are various types of biohazards. Specific contaminants, on the other hand, are more likely to occur following a natural disaster.
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that enter the bloodstream or come into contact with the skin are examples of biohazardous contaminants. Biological contaminants can be found in a variety of environments, including soil, water, and the surfaces of other materials.
Bacteria and viruses can infect rodents such as rats and mice. They can also be a source of biohazardous contaminants, particularly in urban areas. Mold is another biohazard that can grow almost anywhere moisture exists. While it is relatively harmless on the surface of materials, when it becomes airborne, it can pose a serious health risk.
Another biohazard that you might not expect to see on this list is that which arises from crime scenes. A biohazard scene is one that contains blood, bodily fluids, or has been contaminated by decaying bodies. Examples include crime scenes, car accidents, suicides, and death cleanups following hurricanes or floods.
As revolting as it may sound, the job of crime scene cleaners is to quickly clean the area and eliminate potential contaminants in order to prevent disease and infection. Biohazard cleanup services have the skills and experience for efficient crime scene cleanup so that the affected spaces are safe for public access again.
Pests, such as rodents and insects, can also leave biohazards behind after crawling into a wall or upholstery and dying there.
Biohazards can sometimes be left over from medical treatments that require blood to be drained from the body for safety reasons, such as chemotherapy or dialysis. Infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, tetanus, and MRSA can be left behind at these sites and are thus treated as biohazards by cleanup workers.
Keep in mind that biohazard cleanup costs will vary depending on the type of biohazard and the company’s cleanup process. That being said, let us walk you through the biohazard remediation process.
What Does the Biohazard Cleanup Process Involve?
Identify Your Biohazards
The first thing biohazard cleaners will do is determine what kind of biohazards you have. In a crime scene or natural disaster scenario, there are several types of contaminants to be aware of.
The first, and arguably most dangerous, source of contamination is sewage. Viruses and pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and hepatitis B can be found in sewage. If you come into contact with sewage, you are very likely to become infected.
Another biohazard to be aware of is blood. Blood teems with pathogens that can cause disease. Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and MRSA are all bloodborne pathogens.
Finally, you should keep an eye out for mold. Mold spores are common in floodwaters and can cause allergic reactions, particularly in people who already have allergies or respiratory problems.
Identify the Source of Contamination
In the event of a biohazard outbreak, the source of contamination must first be identified. This will assist you in containing the contamination and preventing its spread. For example, if a body is discovered following a natural disaster, you should seal off the contaminated area and remove the remains as soon as possible.
You’ll also want to keep potential contaminants out of the area. If sewage is the source of the contamination, you must remove it immediately and seal the pipes that lead to it.
When inspecting a crime scene, look for blood splatters and stains on surfaces. It may or may not be visible, but it is still a biohazard.
Lock Down the Location
Once the cleaners have identified the source of contamination, they must secure the area. This will prevent further contamination of the area and the spread of the virus.
They’ll need to completely seal off the area with heavy-duty tarps, duct tape, and plastic to do so. This will help ensure that everything, including electrical outlets and plumbing, is properly sealed and that no contaminants escape from the area.
The decontamination procedure will differ depending on the contaminants. If you have sewage, for example, the cleaners will begin by pumping out the sewage and then sanitizing the contaminated area.
They will most likely use disinfectants and sanitizers for this purpose, but they will make sure the area is well aerated because some people are sensitive to the smell of strong chemicals.
If bloodborne pathogens are a concern, the cleaners may use a similar decontamination procedure. The procedure will begin with the removal of contaminated items and the thorough disinfection of areas that have been in contact with blood or bodily fluids. The cleaners will want to use a commercial disinfectant, such as a hospital-grade disinfectant, for this purpose.
Because bloodborne pathogens can be fatal, the cleaners will take all necessary precautions to clean up any blood spills. To avoid tracking spilled blood throughout the area, expect them to wear hazmat suits, plastic gloves, long-sleeved coveralls, a respirator/face shield, and shoe covers.
Plan for Aftermath
Finally, your preferred biohazard cleaning service should plan for the aftermath of biohazard cleanup, especially if it is an all-hands situation.
This includes keeping an eye out for signs of infection and being ready to quarantine anyone who has been exposed to a pathogen. The affected areas will also be inspected to ensure that all biohazardous waste has been removed and that the areas are clean, odorless, and safe for people to enter. These could include public restrooms, medical facilities nearby, and other common areas.
Contact Titan Restoration for Damage Cleanup and Restoration
Although biohazard outbreaks can be disastrous, they do not have to be completely destructive. If you plan for the worst, you can survive a biohazard outbreak with minimal damage.
You may aggravate the situation if you are untrained in biohazard cleanup. For example, attempting to remove contaminants without proper protective equipment could put you in grave danger. Viruses and bacteria can be extremely lethal. If you come into contact with them, they can be fatal in some cases.
Because biohazardous contaminants are dangerous to your health, you should hire biohazard cleanup companies like Titan Restoration to assist you with the cleanup process.
We have the necessary safety equipment and experience dealing with all types of biohazards. Our team has been trained and certified to work with hazardous contaminants. We understand how to handle and clean up contamination, which helps to reduce the risk of exposure.
Call us at 561-861-2775 for more information on our services and biohazard cleaning costs.