The bottom line is that any health risk that comes from the biosphere can be classified as a biological hazard. Risks from the biosphere are those that are derived from animals, plants, and other living organisms, including microorganisms. 

Some examples of biological hazards or biohazards include:

  • Blood and bodily fluids
  • Sewage
  • Airborne pathogens (influenza, common cold, hantavirus)
  • Stinging insects
  • Mold and other fungi
  • Poisonous plants
  • Bird and animal droppings (including rodent droppings)
  • Contaminated needles or other sharps

Common Biohazardous Situations in Private Residences and Businesses

There are a number of different types of situations or incidents that occur in private residences or businesses that result in biohazardous situations. These include:

  • Rodent infestations resulting in rodent droppings
  • Infectious disease
  • Accident
  • Homicide
  • Attempted homicide
  • Other violent crime
  • Drug overdose
  • Suicide
  • Attempted suicide
  • Unattended death (undiscovered death)
  • Hoarding
  • Sewage backup 
  • Flooding

Remediating Biological Hazards

If you face a biological hazard in your home or business, the process of remediating it can prove challenging and even potentially dangerous. There are real safety risks associated with addressing a biohazardous situation that cannot be underestimated. As a consequence, if you elect to attempt to remediate or cleanup a biological hazard on your own, you must make certain that you have appropriate personal protective equipment. The personal protective equipment, or PPE, that you need to use when remediating a biological hazard includes:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • HEPA mask or respirator
  • Smock, apron, or uniform

You must make absolutely certain that all of these items are rated for biological hazard cleanup. The PPE you use for this type of task must be designed to provide actual protection of the microorganisms that constitute a biological hazard.

The biological hazard cleanup process commences with the actual physical cleaning of a contaminated area and the objects in it. The cleaning of the area focuses on the removal of actual biological matter causing the contamination. 

The biological material must be placed into a suitable biohazardous waste receptacle. If the biological hazard includes sharps (like hypodermic needles), the receptacle needs to be made of highly durable plastic of the type that needles and other sharp objects cannot penetrate. Other types of biohazardous waste can be placed in a red biohazardous waste bag and bin. 

Biological waste containers need to be properly identified or marked. These types of containers typically are red in color and do bear what is nearly the universal biohazard waste warning symbol.

In California, as is the case elsewhere in the United States, biological hazardous waste must be transported by a duly certified company. Moreover, biohazardous waste must definitively be disposed of by an appropriately certified operation as well. 

If you elect to undertake biological hazard remediation on your own, you cannot simply toss the waste into your everyday trash. This is unlawful and can result in what can amount to significant penalties. Moreover, if you were to put biological waste into your trash, you expose others to the risk of exposure to dangerous pathogens. 

Once the initial cleaning and removal process appropriately has been completed, the next phase of biological hazard remediation is the sanitization of the contaminated area and objects in it. This necessitates the use of medical-grade sanitization products to ensure that harmful pathogens are in fact eliminated. 

Depending on the type of biological hazardous situation you have in your home or business, a third step in the overall remediation process may be necessary. This is deodorization. 

As is the case with sanitization, you will need high-grade deodorizing agents (and possibly even equipment). These are not necessarily items you will have easy access to as a matter of course. Standard over-the-counter deodorizing products available at the local convenience or drug store are not likely to be sufficient to effectively address odors that can be associated with a biohazardous situation. 

Professional Biological Hazard Cleanup Company

The bottom line is that because of the challenges associated with effectively undertaking biological hazard cleaning, coupled with the health risks this type of peril presents, if you ever face the need for remediation in your home or business, you are wise seeking professional assistance. A skilled, experienced biological hazard cleaning company has the background and resources necessary to thoroughly and safely remediate the various types of contamination situations or incidents that can occur in your home.

A reputable biological hazard cleaning company provides a reliable estimate for a job prior to commencing work. In addition, payment isn’t due on a biological hazard cleanup until work is completed and the home or business owner has the opportunity to inspect the completed project. 

Author

Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services such as biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, infectious disease disinfection and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.