What Is Biohazard Cleaning?
A biohazard or a biological hazard is a dangerous or contaminated substance that can threaten your health. Biohazards may include pathogenic microorganisms, toxins, viruses or bacteria that can be present in many situations.
In places where industrial or clinical waste is involved, such as hospitals, laboratories, industrial settings and even restaurants, there is a potential risk of being exposed to biohazards.
The most common biohazards in the environment are bodily fluids like blood, sharps, animal waste products, biological materials, viruses and bacteria. Thus, it is essential to get a biohazard cleanup for safe contamination of the areas exposed to biohazards to prevent any risk of infection from exposure to these substances.
Biohazard cleanup is the thorough cleaning process after an incident involving biohazards. If left unattended, biohazards like blood, urine or vomit can seep into porous materials or places the naked eye cannot see. In these situations, standard cleaning methods may prove to be insufficient.
Biohazard cleaning aims to remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them safely. Biohazard cleaners ensure that the location is clean and no longer threatens human health.
Table Of Contents
What Are Biohazards?
A biological hazard or a bio hazard refers to any natural material risking human health. The most common biohazard we come into contact with is blood and other substances like mould, fungus spores, industrial chemicals, bodily fluids and wastes, etc.
Microorganisms, viruses or toxins can cause most biohazards. The categories of biohazards are divided into infectious substances harmful to humans and animals, unidentified biological substances and regulated medical waste. These biohazards include:
- Bodily fluids like blood, tissues, cell lines, etc.
- Sharps waste
- Laboratory waste items that are contaminated
- Cultures or stocks of pathogenic agents like bacteria, fungi, parasites, protozoa, etc.
- Animal and human waste
- Plant waste
When Is Biohazard Cleaning Needed?
Some scenarios and situations need biohazard cleaning even if there is no direct involvement of biological or industrial processes. Biohazard remediation has become crucial in this day and age of widely spread pandemics and viruses that have the potential to survive on surfaces for days and cause potential health threats to people who come in contact with it.
In industrial settings where the workplace is prone to spills and accidents, the area needs to be rid of waste and decontaminated if there is an outbreak of dangerous bacteria or potentially dangerous infectious diseases.
In hospitals and medical settings where bodily fluids and chemicals are present, there is a constant threat to health and safety if proper cleaning protocols are not followed. Thus, biohazard cleaning is necessary to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
At crime scenes where the aftermath of hazardous contamination, unattended death or traumatic injury can be dangerous, biohazard cleanup is necessary to treat the scene properly.
Here are some examples of biohazard cleanup situations:
Bodily Fluid and Faeces Cleanup
Human bodily fluids and faeces don’t only have a foul odour but may also be highly contagious. Proper removal and disposal followed by thorough sanitisation of the area are required in these situations.
Blood Spill Cleanup
Traumatic events or accidents that involve blood spills can lead to exposure to bloodborne pathogens and disease transmission. The site needs to be cleaned thoroughly as exposure to pathogens can lead to dire consequences.
Crime Scene Cleaning
Crime scenes need to be cleaned up after a thorough criminal investigation. Crime scenes usually require blood cleanup, biohazard removal, sharps removal, etc.
Odour Removal and Elimination
A foul odour can have many sources like rotting food, raw sewage, pest infestations, human waste, etc. A mixture of chemicals released from bacteria, proteins and organic matters left untreated can multiply and spread rapidly and cause a foul smell. Biohazard cleaners possess the necessary chemicals and methods that help eliminate the odour.
Sewage overflows and spills can be caused by plumbing blockages, broken pipes, accidental damage, or harsh weather like heavy rains or storms. Collected sewage water and waste can emit a foul odour and attract pest and rodent infestations that can risk your house and your health.
Needle and Sharps Cleanup
Used needles like syringes and other equipment might carry harmful diseases. Their safe removal and disposal by professional cleaners prevent dangerous infections from spreading.
An abandoned property littered with many biohazards, including human and animal bodily waste, needle sharps, rotting food, infestations, etc. or property that hoarders have occupied should be cleaned up by biohazard cleaners for its proper decontamination.
Types Of Biohazard Cleanup
The biohazard cleanup required in a situation depends upon the biohazard level, underlying hazardous material, and the harm it can cause. You can’t completely eradicate dangerous materials like mould without professional help as they can quickly return if spores are missed. Biohazards like needles can be disposed of easily as established protocols for the procedure exist.
Situations like crime scenes, deaths and hoardings are best cleaned by professionals. Expert biohazard cleaning technicians know how to identify and treat the biohazards, follow safety protocols and for biohazard waste disposal.
To ensure the cleaning procedure is followed without risking anyone’s safety, experts bring the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
What Happens In The Process Of Biohazard Cleaning?
Biohazard cleaning can be far more intensive than regular cleaning. When cleaning up biohazards, you cannot afford to miss a spot. You cannot overlook or forget anything when fighting against an enemy you can’t see.
A biohazard cleaner has to wear biohazard suits or hazmat suits that are liquid and airtight, along with gloves, respirators, eye goggles, etc., because if they get exposed to the biohazard, that they’re trying to remove, it could lead to dire consequences. The job is physically demanding and requires meticulous attention to detail.
A control room will likely be set up if the forensic cleaning is extensive such as in multi-pathogen or airborne pathogen scenes. Professionals can enter and exit the scene in this environment without spreading contaminants further.
Biohazard cleaners must identify the cause of the hazard and locate all of the traces it has left, which involves cleaning and searching the entire property. The cleaners use UV light sources like hydroxyl generators to sanitise the air. They clean under and around the contaminated area and dispose of all harmful materials in containers that are appropriately labelled with the biohazard symbol according to state and local regulations.
Biohazard cleaners must be able to identify and know how to decontaminate hazards, have the right equipment and be physically fit enough to do this kind of work.
What Do Biohazard Cleaners Do?
Biohazard cleaners undergo specialist training, certification and experience, unlike ordinary cleaners, in how to handle and dispose of dangerous biohazards safely. They use specific cleaning chemicals and equipment to remove biohazards safely. Once bio cleaning is done, the biohazardous site becomes safe and habitable.
Risks Involved In Biohazard Cleaning
Biohazard cleaning poses apparent risks to the cleaners and the property owners of the contaminated location. The primary danger during the whole process is the biohazards themselves.
There is a possibility of catching diseases in blood or body fluid cleanup situations as even a tiny trace of blood can potentially carry serious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus. Biohazard cleaning by non-professionals may pose a considerable risk to them of catching these unwanted diseases.
Biohazard cleaners may also act as carriers if they collect biohazards or bodily fluids on their clothing or skin, which puts the cleaner and the people who come into contact with them at risk.
Suppose the contaminated area is carelessly cleaned or cleaned by non-professionals who couldn’t eliminate all traces of the biohazard. In that case, it could pose a risk to the people who live or frequent the location as there is an increased chance of them contracting or spreading a disease.
Untreated biomaterials can also attract insects and fungus, which may lead to further complications for the property and people who inhabit that place.
Importance Of Biohazard Cleaning By Professionals
Biohazard cleanup should never be taken up as a DIY cleaning job as inexperienced individuals don’t know the proper protocols to follow and could unknowingly harm themselves.
Thus, biohazard cleaning should be done by professionals with the right experience and equipment for the job. Biohazard cleaning by professionals has a lot of advantages, and some of them are:
Keeps You Safe
Bodily fluids and blood can expose you to harmful pathogens that can result in illnesses if you come in contact with them. Professional biohazard cleaners use the appropriate cleaning equipment while practising safety protocols. They ensure that the area is adequately decontaminated and you do not get exposed to any harm.
Saves Your Time
Cleaning a decontaminated area can take up a lot of time without professional expertise and can also be risky as it poses a risk to your health the longer it takes. Since professional biohazard cleaners handle these kinds of cases daily and have the right experience and skills, they can get the job done at a fast pace.
Since mishaps can occur at any time and can cause risk if not taken care of immediately, professional biohazard cleaners are always available on speed dial.
Biohazard cleaners are also skilled in other areas related to the job. They offer additional services like vehicle blood removal, meth lab cleaning, crime scene cleanup, etc.
Best Biohazard Cleaning Services In Melbourne
Bioclean Melbourne is one of Australia’s leading biohazard, trauma, property remediation and cleanup companies. We offer quick and high-quality services in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Mornington.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ans:- A house can be a biohazardous location if there has been a case of suicide, homicide, blood spillage or a fatal accident on the property. Contaminated bodily fluids like blood or saliva that have been left out in the open could be hazardous too. In these situations, the house becomes a biohazard and should be decontaminated by professional biohazard cleaners. Some house insurance companies also cover biohazard cleaning costs if needed.
Ans:- Places like walls, closets, refrigerators, windows, fruit bowls, etc., could potentially be your home’s most common biohazard hotspots.
Ans:- Hazardous substances include bacteria, viruses, parasites, moulds or fungi that can threaten human health if they come into contact with them and can cause diseases or illnesses such as food poisoning, respiratory or parasitic infections, etc.
Ans:- You must wash your hands frequently, cover existing cuts with bandages and wear protective gloves. Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth and sanitise contaminated locations.
Ans:- Human blood is one of the most potentially hazardous substances. If you clean it up without proper precautions and equipment, you might be at risk of exposure to diseases like hepatitis B and C, HIV, MRSA and other transmittable diseases.