Like many people, you may generally be familiar with the ubiquitous biohazard warning symbol but may know little to nothing about what the sign really means. Moreover, you may not truly understand what is meant by the term biohazard. In simple terms, a biohazard is a biological substance that is capable of causing illness, including serious disease, in a human. The presence of this type of dangerous situation in your home can require the professional assistance of a biohazard cleaning company in Aguanga, California.
What Does the Biohazard Symbol Really Mean?
The biohazard symbol was developed in the 1960s and is intended to be a uniform warning to people that a container, room, or something else contains potentially biohazardous substances. The foundation of the warning sign is four circles which are said to have specific purposes:
- Agent: The type of biological substance that causes a hazardous condition, which can include bacteria, viruses, other microorganisms, or toxins.
- Host: The living organisms that the referenced agent can infect.
- Source: The source from which a biological substance originates.
- Transmissions: The manner in which the biological substance can infect a human.
Blood is a common biohazard and can be used to illustrate the mechanics of the biohazard symbol:
- Agent: HIV virus
- Host: Human
- Source: Human blood
- Transmission: Contact with HIV infected blood without proper protection
Common Causes of Biohazardous Situations in a Home
A biohazardous situation in a home can arise for a number of different reasons. There are some that are more commonplace than others and include:
- Infectious disease
- Drug overdose
- Unattended death
- Rodent Droppings
- Homeless encampment
A Look at the Biohazard Cleaning Process
If you are like most people and were uncertain about biohazards and the biohazard warning symbol, you probably desire some more detailed information on the biohazard cleaning process. The biohazard cleaning process commences with making certain that all involved wear proper personal protective equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has identified the minimum personal protective equipment that must be worn during a biohazard cleanup. This is:
- Safety goggles or other protective eyewear
- Mask or respirator
- Smock, uniform, or other protective outerwear
The required personal protective equipment must be designed specifically for use in coming into contact with biohazards. A class action lawsuit in the United States came to conclusion via a settlement in 2018 involving hospitals that did not issue personal protective gear rated for coming into contact with biohazards.
The first part of the biohazard remediation process is a thorough cleanup of the impacted area in a home (or business). This involves the removal of biological matter at the scene that can include such material as:
- Other bodily fluids
- Other bodily matter
- Other sewage waste
- Rodent Droppings
In addition, any objects contained in the impacted area that has been contaminated but cannot be cleaned are physically removed. All of this biomatter and contaminated material are placed into an appropriate biohazard waste receptacle emblazoned with the warning symbol discussed previously.
Once biomatter and contaminated items are removed, what remains is thoroughly cleaned. This is done to ensure that any physical residue is fully eliminated.
The next part of the biohazard remediation process is sanitization of the contaminated area and the objects remaining in it. Sanitization involves the use of powerful, hospital-grade sanitizing agents and specialized equipment. The objective here is to eradicate viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms to render the space safe as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Finally, a biohazardous situation is likely to have an associated foul odor. This can happen in a situation involving an unattended death, sewage, rodent droppings and associated infestation, and other biohazardous incidents. Deodorization is the final part of a comprehensive biohazard cleaning process in a home. This element involves the use of powerful deodorizing agents and specialized odor-eliminating equipment.
Finding a Qualified Biohazard Cleaning Company in Aguanga, California
There are some key considerations to bear in mind when seeking a reputable biohazard cleaning company. This includes experience. You definitely want to engage a company that has specific experience in addressing the type of biohazardous situation you’ve in your home.
You also want to make certain a company charges fair, reasonable fee and provides a reliable, firm estimate before work on a job begins. Moreover, find out if your homeowner’s insurance company assist in paying for biohazard remediation. Determine if a company accepts insurance and will assist in pursuing a claim.