When you think of a biohazard, you probably think of things like hazardous waste, sharps containers, and hazmat suits. And while those are sometimes a major part of biohazard cleaning, there are a lot of details and training that go into this type of task.
What exactly is biohazard cleaning? This quick guide walks you through a full explanation.
What is a Biohazard?
The CDC sets out regulations for different levels of biohazards. The various levels determine what type of certification and protection you need when dealing with anything that falls into that category.
The definition of a biohazard is any type of biological hazard that could pose a risk to human health or animal health. Several things fall into these categories, but these are the most common:
- Bodily fluids (blood, saliva, etc.)
- Bodily waste
- Medical waste (tissues, lab cultures, etc.)
- Animal carcasses
- Animal waste
- Transmittable diseases
- Mold and fungus
When a person comes into contact with these substances, they could be contaminated with harmful bacteria or spores. This leads to contamination or spreading of illness and disease. That is why these issues must always be treated with very specific care.
You will also notice that mold and fungus are on this list. This is related to toxigenic molds, like black mold, that have been linked to various health issues.
There are four levels of biohazards, and each is managed by the CDC. Level 1 is the lowest threat, but still requires specific protocols. Level 4 is the highest threat and requires the most safety PPE and strictest compliance standards. Here is a quick look at the levels:
- Level 1: Low-risk microbes with little to no threat of protection.
- Level 2: Could cause moderate harm, such as infections or diseases spread through fluids
- Level 3: High-risk pathogens often spread by airborne nature
- Level 4: High-risk pathogens that are life-threatening and have no known treatment
In a level 4 situation, full hazmat gear with head-to-toe coverage and a respirator would be required. There are also specific protocols for decontamination and disposal.
Where Do Biohazards Occur?
A biohazard is not a rare situation. While high-level exposures are fairly rare, there are biohazards that occur every day. It could be a slip and fall where someone bleeds. It could be a crime scene with blood and waste left behind. In some cases, it may be a chemical spill that needs to be cleaned up.
Realistically, a biohazard could occur just about anywhere. It’s important to recognize the signs and be familiar with potential biohazards to ensure it’s handled appropriately.
These are some of the most common occurrences of biohazards:
- Human death (homicide, suicide, unattended death, etc.)
- Infestations of animals
- Crime scenes (meth labs, tear gas, etc.)
- Mold infestation
- Chemical spills
- Sewage backup
- Workplace accident
Biohazard Cleaning Process
When you bring in a qualified team to handle biohazard cleaning needs, they will have a specific process to follow. Every team is different, but the compliance and safety requirements will be similar and will follow the standards set forth by the CDC.
In most cases, the cleaning process will start with setting up containment of the area in question until it is clean and safe. An inspection will be completed to determine exactly what is needed and how to approach the situation.
From there, our team will suit up with any necessary safety equipment and will start cleaning up as needed. We will incorporate all safety protocols, as well as following requirements for disinfection, sanitation, and disposal. Remember that we are trained and certified to safely handle your biohazard cleaning needs.
Trust the professionals to take care of whatever the biohazard may be. We have the knowledge and equipment to satisfy compliance requirements and make the space safe and clean again.
Let ONEighty Solutions Help with Your Biohazard Cleaning Needs
When you need help with a biohazard situation, we can help! At ONEighty Solutions, our teams are trained and certified to safely and effectively clean up any biohazard. We will respond quickly and discreetly to your needs.
We use state-of-the-art equipment and processes to ensure the best results and the best approach to cleaning for a biohazard situation.