Intro & Definition
We know the symbol means "danger", and to stay far away from anything depicting it, but exactly what is a biohazard? That's actually a really good question, and one we'll be addressing in this article today. The word biohazard, a portmanteau for biological hazard, is defined as a threat to the health of living organisms, humans in particular, typically arising from biological materials. It often refers to microorganisms, viruses, and toxins, which can adversely affect humans or animals and their health.
COVID-19 is considered an example of a biohazard, and any testing materials associated with it. Working with any infectious agent produces potentially infectious materials. When this occurs, something called infectious waste is produced and is therefore considered a prime example of a biohazard. A biohazard can also be represented in certain dangerous or hazardous chemicals and combinations thereof, considered as producing hazardous waste. This chemical waste is treated the same as biohazard waste and Crime Scene Cleaners is equipped to handle it!
The 4 Biohazard Levels
There are four different levels of threats that are considered biohazards. Let's go over them first:
- Biohazard Level 1 - Minimal threat to humans and the environment (example: e. coli, bacillus subtilis)
- Biohazard Level 2 - Moderate threat, can cause severe illness in humans and transmitted by direct contact with infectious materials (example: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and salmonella)
- Biohazard Level 3 - Severe threat, pathogens can become airborne and cause serious diseases (example: tuberculosis, Coxiella burnetii)
- Biohazard Level 4 - Extreme threat, pathogens pose a high risk of life-threatening disease for which there is no cure or treatment (example: Ebola virus, Lassa virus)
This is how different types of biological and infectious hazards are classified, including the waste materials from anything or anyone who has had contact with them. Let's move on to the biohazardous waste, and some examples of situations where such waste produced items contaminated and the need for cleanup, separation from regular trash, and disposal was found.
Regulated Medical Waste
As mentioned, there are multiple different businesses that regularly need biohazard waste removal due to the nature of what they do. The healthcare industry is a primary example of this, and this kind of biohazardous waste is called regulated medical waste or biomedical waste. This is waste such as what might come from a hospital, doctor's office or medical treatment facilities such as a family planning or abortion clinic, and may contain things like:
- sharps containers or sharps waste,
- waste biopsy materials,
- pleural fluid,
- pericardial fluid or
- other human body fluids,
- human blood,
- human tissues,
- body parts,
- amniotic fluid,
- unfixed human tissue,
- vaginal secretions,
- IV tubing,
- bedding material,
- blood products
- blood transfusion bags
- suction canisters
- vaccine vials, etc.
A medical laboratory where biomedical research is done is generally referred to as having microbiological wastes, another form of biohazardous waste that is regulated. This type of medical waste may contain things like:
- discarded specimen cultures,
- disposable culture dishes,
- bacteria viruses,
- pathological waste,
- discarded live cultures (microbiological),
- any microbiological or biological substances,
- any body fluids or human blood,
- bench paper (lab bench disposable covers),
- any item used to mix cultures in or with,
- any infectious waste or waste contaminated by infectious agents, etc.
- microbiological or biological products
A slaughterhouse or animal laboratory studying recombinant DNA, for instance, has regulated animal waste labeled as biohazard waste. This is also considered to be a form of medical waste, and may contain things like:
- animal carcasses,
- animal tissue,
- animal blood,
- other body fluids
- any infectious or potentially infectious materials
- blood or blood products
- body parts
The 4 Categories Of Biohazard Waste
There are four categories of what is considered to be biohazard waste, and they all have different methods of waste disposal requirements. All of them must be properly packaged and labeled with the biohazard symbol, and specific rules that follow state guidelines for waste disposal are followed.
- Solid biohazardous waste (non-sharps)
- Soil collection, treatment, and disposal
- Liquid biohazardous waste
Solid biohazardous waste and sharps should be placed in regulated medical waste boxes lined with a red biohazard bag and properly labeled. Liquid biohazardous waste should be placed inside of a puncture-resistant or leak-proof container lined with a red biohazard bag and properly labeled. Soil collection as well as any infectious materials must be collected in an autoclave bag first for sterilization purposes.
Then there are situations that happen unexpectedly, such as a murder scene or a chemical spill. During one of these biohazard events, law enforcement, places of business, or even homeowners often call for assistance with the cleanup and disposal of these scenes. Crime Scene Cleaners is the authority on biohazard cleanups, with over 25 years in the industry. Examples of common biohazard events are things like:
- Murder or homicide scene
- Unattended death scene
- Suicide scene
- Hoarder home or shelter
- Bed bug removal
- Chemical spill
A biohazard event is often when Crime Scene Cleaners are called to help with cleanups and disposal of biohazardous waste materials. We will clean and disinfect any areas with visible blood or fluid of any kind, and help remediate the area in question back to a clean and safe environment. We even remove all biohazardous materials and remove them for final disposal.
Crime Scene Cleaners
Crime Scene Cleaners understands that sometimes situations come up we weren't expecting, and the need for our services may arise. We work with law enforcement and businesses as well as for families in need of help. Our technicians are discreet and professional but friendly and willing to help out wherever necessary. We will help to get your home or business back to normal, so you have a safe and healthy environment again. Emergency services available 24/7, we do all kinds of professional cleaning jobs. No job is too big or too small!
So regardless of whether you need regular cleaning for your house or grounds by the cleaning experts, or you're a business owner dealing with a tragic accident, Crime Scene Cleaners is the place to start. Thorough and professional cleaning, and cleanups, and disposal of biohazards or potentially biohazardous situations. We are properly certified, wear appropriate PPE gear and equipment for the job, and have the most experience in handling America's toughest cleaning jobs!
Crime Scene is here to help you clean and disinfect your home or business when you need it most. Hopefully, we've answered your question about what is a biohazard, but if you still have any questions whatsoever, contact Crime Scene Cleaners today!