June 22, 2023
Flood waters and sewage that impacts communities can contain harmful contaminants. Have you ever thought about what biohazards are lurking in your own home? Here is what you need to know.
Bodily fluids from a human or animal may be contaminated with viruses, bacteria and other toxins that can make you sick. This type of waste will need professional removal and clean up. Examples include the aftermath of an accident, violent crime, death, or suicide in the home.
Sharp objects such as syringes, broken glass, knives, or blades are common household biohazards. Handle these objects with care and teach your children about their dangers. Also, make sure medical waste is disposed of properly in approved containers.
Solid waste. Gloves, towels, or clothing that comes into contact with a biohazard is considered contaminated. These objects must be handled properly.
Pathological waste. In the home, this basically pertains to an animal carcass. The clean-up of animal or human organs, tissues and body parts should always be handled by a professional.
Professionals should always be hired to clean up a death scene. Traditional home sanitizing products aren’t strong enough to erase the contamination left by a dead body.
Hazardous biological agents are also found in the workplace. Medical or clinical staff are at risk of bloodborne pathogens like HIV. Workers can also be exposed to environmental pathogens such as mold and Legionnaires disease. First responders and researchers are at risk of weaponized biological agents like anthrax. Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can also harm anyone who is exposed.
Medical personnel, janitors, cleaning staff and childcare workers can easily come into contact with urine, vomit and feces. Food and farm workers who handle animal products and waste are also exposed to potential biohazards, including rodent or bird droppings. Organic matter like garbage, wastewater and sewage can also be contaminated. Biting or stinging insects also pose a health risk to some people.
If you have rats or mice in your home, it’s important to clean up after them. This includes safely disposing of their urine, feces, nesting materials, and their dead bodies.
The CDC lists some precautions you should take while cleaning up the mess.
Gather a household cleaning disinfectant or make a fresh homemade bleach solution. Wear rubber or plastic gloves. Spray insect repellent on clothes, shoes, and gloves to protect you from flea bites. Spray an EPA-registered disinfectant on rodent urine and droppings to kill germs. Scoop up the wet mess with paper towels and throw them into a garbage bag for disposal. Next, mop or sponge the area with a disinfectant. Clean your gloves with soap and water. Remove them and thoroughly wash your hands.
Seek help if you become ill and believe it’s due to a rodent-borne disease. Talk to your healthcare provider.
If your home has suffered water, flood, or fire damage, or you need a biohazard cleanup, Flood Department is here to help. We provide repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke, biohazards and more. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online for more information.