Forensic Cleanup: Biohazard Remediation and Beyond

Some individuals are familiar with forensic cleanup, at least to some degree. Forensic cleanup is also known as crime scene cleanup. Of these individuals with a basic understanding of forensic cleanup, they tend to think that the sole focus of this type of effort is on biohazard remediation. In fact, while cleaning up and sanitizing biohazardous conditions following the commission of a crime (a criminal offense like a homicide) can be imperative, there is more to forensic cleanup. Here we explore all of the essential elements potentially involved in a forensic cleanup endeavor.

For the purposes of getting a broader understanding of different elements or categories of forensic cleanup, five specific types of this type of remediation are presented for your consideration:

  • Biohazard remediation
  • Fingerprint powder elimination
  • Tear gas residue elimination
  • Disease vector remediation
  • Arson remediation

Biohazard Remediation

Biohazard remediation oftentimes is a major element of forensic cleanup. The reality is that violent crimes, including assault, rape, and homicide can result in a crime scene contaminated with blood and other bodily fluids. Indeed, there may be other types of biological matter at these scenes as well, particularly if the crime involved the use of a weapon such as a gun. 

The reality is that these biological materials, or biomatter, can harbor what are known as pathogens. Pathogens are biological microorganisms of different types capable of causing disease in human beings. These include viruses and bacteria. 

Specialized forensic cleanup is necessary to ensure that these types of biohazardous situations are thoroughly and safely remediated. This type of forensic cleanup necessitates the use of personal protective equipment rated for biohazard remediation that includes:

  • HEPA mask or respirator
  • Gloves
  • Protective glasses or goggles
  • Smock, apron, or uniform

Forensic cleanup involving biohazard remediation is a multifaceted process that includes:

  • Cleaning contaminated area and removal of biomatter
  • Sanitization of the contaminated area
  • Deodorization of the crime scene, if necessary

Fingerprint Powder Elimination

If your home or business is a crime scene, investigators may have had to “dust” for fingerprints. The reality is that while such an endeavor can be vital to solving a crime, the powder left behind can create a serious mess. Made from black graphite, the powder used to detect fingerprints is also extremely difficult to clean up. 

Many people initially believe that cleaning up fingerprint powder will be “no big thing.” And then they take a damp towel to the situation and create an almost unfathomable mess. Others will try to dust away fingerprint powder only to spread it even further about the scene. The bottom line, seeking professional forensic cleanup assistance to address fingerprint power elimination typically is an advisable course. A forensic cleanup specialist has developed techniques and has chemicals needed to neutralize and eliminate fingerprint dust thoroughly and efficiently.

Tear Gas Residue Elimination

Although not a highly likely turn of events, the possibility does exist that law enforcement might need to utilize what broadly is classified as “tear gas” in order to quell a crime. The elimination of tear gas used at a crime scene involves more than merely “airing out” the location of the criminal activity. Rather, the use of tear gas leaves behind residue on surfaces at a crime scene that can prove to be highly irritating. Thus, not only does the airborne remnants of tear gas need to be eliminated, so does any residue left behind on surfaces. 

Tear gas residue elimination represents yet another element of forensic cleanup for which professional assistance is recommended. Time and again, a home or business owner who attempts a do-it-yourself approach to tear gas residue remediation ends up causing harm to his or her self as well as to others. 

As is the case with fingerprint powder elimination, a forensic cleanup specialist has the knowhow and the materials needed to effectively and safely eliminate tear gas residue without causing a negative impact on others. 

Disease Vector and Harmful Substance Remediation

Unfortunately, we live in a day and age when there are wrongdoers intent on releasing substances known as disease vectors in places that will impact the public. In addition, there are other types of nonbiological, non-disease-causing chemical substances that are released in an attempt to cause physical harm to people.

This specific category of forensic cleanup is one that is undertaken under the supervision of governmental agents. Depending on the situation, trained specialists employed by governmental agencies may undertake this type of remediation directly. In some cases, a governmental authority will contract with a forensic cleanup company that has specific experience in addressing the remediation of these types of life-threatening hazards. 

Arson Remediation

A final category of crime that necessitates forensic or crime scene cleanup is arson. The aftermath of a fire includes a myriad of different cleanup challenges beyond the capabilities and resources of an untrained citizen. As a consequence, a skilled, experienced, well-equipped forensic or crime scene cleanup professional is needed to provide effective and comprehensive arson remediation.