Let's talk about the common hazards that emergency responders, medical personnel, and victims of traumatic events are exposed to and why it is important to have a biohazard cleanup company like Bio-One remediating these situations. We have a full license in biohazard remediation services.
These technicians are trained in handling biohazardous waste and cleaning up dangerous pathogens safely and effectively, ensuring that the area is safe for victims and their families to return to. Emergency responders (law enforcement, fire departments, medical personnel) are exposed to these pathogens in violent crimes and situations involving blood spills and other potential biohazards. Improper treatment of these materials poses health and safety concerns for the public.
What is Considered a Biohazard?
A biohazard is a biological or chemical agent that can cause harm to humans. Some of the most common are viruses, bacteria, and toxic chemicals. These materials can cause severe damage to humans if they engage with them. Some of the most common biohazards include:
What Are Some Examples of Biohazardous Material?
A few examples of biohazardous material can include:
- Blood and bodily fluids
- Amniotic fluid
- Medical waste
- Chemical spills
- Tear gas
- Animal remains
These materials spread through the air, water, soil, or contact with skin. Biohazard cleanup specialists help remove infectious materials and prevent disease outbreaks.
Biohazards: Four-Level Safety Classification
A biohazard can be classified into one of four categories, depending on its risk to humans.
1. Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1)
This category includes agents that pose a low risk to human health. BSL-1 agents can cause infection but are not life-threatening. Examples of BSL-1 biohazards include Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. These agents are located on the skin or the respiratory tract, and they can cause infections if they enter the body through cuts or mucous membranes.
When working with BSL-1 biohazards, workers do not have to work in separate buildings, and they do not need to wear special protective equipment. They do, however, need to wear PPE such as eyewear protection, gloves, lab coats, etc.
2. Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2)
This category includes agents that pose a moderate risk to human health. BSL-2 agents can cause serious infections, and though they are not typically life-threatening, special safety precautions are necessary when dealing with this type of material.
Some examples of BSL-2 agents include:
- Certain bacteria, such as those that cause tuberculosis
- Viruses, such as the flu
- Fungi, such as candida
- Parasites, such as hookworm
Workers dealing with Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) agents take precautions to protect themselves and others from exposure to hazardous material. This may include wearing the right equipment, such as gloves, face masks, and hazmat suits.
When disinfecting BSL-2 areas, biohazard cleanup crews also use professional equipment to clean up any potential biological hazard, such as disinfectants and vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
3. Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3)
Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) is a biohazard classification that indicates materials that can cause serious or potentially deadly harm to humans. These materials spread through the air, water, or contact with the skin. BSL-3 biohazards require special precautions and procedures for handling and disposal. Examples of BSL-3 biohazards include:
- Animal carcasses infected with certain viruses or bacteria
- Human blood or tissues infected with certain viruses or bacteria
- Cultures of specific viruses or bacteria
Workers who handle BSL-3 biohazards must wear special equipment. There are limits on when and how much access you have to the laboratory. In addition, personnel working in the lab remain under medical monitoring and are given vaccines for any pathogens they may come into contact with or potentially face in the laboratory. Walls, ceilings, and windows must be sealed, and floors that are nonskid and chemically resistant.
4. Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4)
Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) is the highest level of biohazard classification, and these labs are used for research on the most deadly diseases, including Ebola and Marburg. These labs require multiple layers of security, including airlocks and special equipment, to prevent the spread of biohazards.
Workers in BSL-4 labs must wear full-body protective suits, and all waste must be incinerated. There are currently 13 operational or planned BSL-4 facilities within the United States. All biohazardous material can seriously threaten human health and safety, and proper handling is fundamental when working with biohazards.
Contact a professional biohazard cleanup company if you suspect biohazardous material may be present.
Common Bloodborne Diseases & The Importance of Wearing PPE
Bloodborne diseases are illnesses caused by pathogens in human blood. These pathogens can include viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Some common bloodborne diseases include:
- Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B is a severe liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). For some people, the illness can last a lifetime. Hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- Hepatitis C – Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and can lead to chronic liver disease. It is spread through contact with blood from an infected person and can be passed on through sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia or unprotected sex.
- HIV/AIDS – HIV/AIDS is a serious and life-threatening illness caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV attacks an individual's immune system, eventually leading to AIDS. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection and can dramatically decrease the lifespan of someone who contracts it. Many people living with HIV/AIDS now enjoy long, healthy lives with ongoing treatment.
See a healthcare provider immediately if you suspect exposure to a bloodborne disease. There are treatments available for some bloodborne diseases, but others have no cure, and early diagnosis and treatment can improve your chances of recovery.
What Emergency Responders Are Exposed to in Crime Scenes Involving Bodily Fluids
First responders and emergency response personnel are exposed to biohazardous material when responding to crime scenes involving bodily fluids. When these fluids come into contact with skin, they can enter the body and cause infection.
Emergency responders must take precautions when dealing with potentially biohazardous material. If left untreated, biohazards can spread diseases and cause harm to people in the area. Emergency responders need to work with biohazard cleanup companies to restore affected areas.
What Is a Biohazard Cleanup process like?
When potentially hazardous materials are present, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others from potential harm. This process typically involves the following steps:
Identification of biohazards
It is important to identify all biohazards to take proper safety procedures. This includes identifying the type of biohazard and the level of contamination on the scene.
Personal Protective Equipment
When cleaning up biohazards, wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is important, including gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection.
Removal of biohazards
Once the biohazards have been identified, the biohazardous material is removed and disposed of following safety and health regulations. The area where the biohazardous material was present must be cleaned and disinfected to remove any traces of the biohazard.
What You Should Do If You Encounter Biohazardous Waste
If you come across blood, body fluids, and even medical waste, it is important to take proper precautions to protect yourself and others. Here are some tips on what to do:
- Avoid contact with contaminated materials if possible. If you must come in contact with it, wear protective clothing, including gloves, a gown, and a mask.
- Do not try to clean up these biohazards yourself. This is a job for professional restoration technicians.
Biohazard Cleanup - How Bio-One Can Help
Bio-One is the best choice for biohazard cleanup. We assist emergency responders with crime scene cleanup, biohazard cleaning, removing potentially hazardous materials, and properly disinfecting and disinfecting areas from bloodborne pathogens. Contact us today to learn more about our biohazard cleanup costs and emergency services.
Compassion. Experience. Respect.
Bio-One is ready to address issues caused by unanticipated circumstances such as death and serious trauma at any time. We deploy our certified and experienced technicians as soon as possible so you can focus on more important things while the recovery process begins.
Biohazard Remediation and Decontamination Services
- Crime scene cleanup
- Trauma scene cleanup
- Biohazard cleanup
- Blood spill and bodily fluids cleanup
- Undiscovered death cleanup
- Homicide/Suicide cleanup
- Feces and urine cleanup
- Mold Remediation
- Water damage restoration
- Odor removal
- Nicotine stain removal
- Virus disinfection
- Emergency vehicle decontamination
- Tear gas cleanup
Hoarding cleanup and Recovery services
Locally owned, Bio-One of Chula Vista works closely with emergency responders, hoarding task forces, public service agencies, and other organizations to provide the most efficient service possible:
- Hoarding cleanup
- Animal hoarding cleanup
- Gross filth cleanup
- Deep clean
- Junk removal
- Hazardous waste disposal
Proudly serving San Diego County & Surrounding communities!
We proudly serve the San Diego County location and surrounding cities and communities: Chula Vista, San Diego, National City, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, El Cajon, Santee, Lakeside, Coronado, La Mesa, Imperial Beach, Bonita, Alpine, surrounding communities. As proud National City Chamber of Commerce members and an approved HomeAdvisor company, we always offer free estimates for our services and are available 24/7! Contact us at 619-892-1744.