4 Bio-Hazard Dangers of Cleaning Up After a Death

Did you know that some infectious agents can outlive their hosts and continue to spread through contaminated blood? The potential spread of bloodborne pathogens is just one danger when it comes to cleaning up after a death.

Keep reading to learn about bio-hazard dangers and why it's best to let the experts handle the cleanup operation. 

1. Bloodborne Pathogens

Clean-up after a death is typically handled by professionals who know what precautions to take in such an environment. One substantial reason for this is that biological hazard cleaners are trained in sanitation, disinfection, and decontamination and understand how to mitigate and lower the risk of infectious diseases when cleaning up blood spills

Some illness-causing pathogens can survive outside a body for weeks, depending on certain environmental factors. 

Bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV carry a high risk. These diseases require lifelong treatment in those affected by them. That’s why blood cleanup should be handled by someone who understands the proper procedures

2. Unattended Deaths 

The term “unattended death” describes unfortunate situations when a person passes away but the body isn’t taken care of for days or even weeks. In these scenarios, decomposition has set in, and not just anyone can handle the process. Not only is it a distressing scene, but there is a significant risk of disease exposure from blood, bodily fluids, or the air. 

3. Contaminated Surfaces 

Hepatitis viruses B and C, as well as HIV, can spread through blood but do not live on surfaces for very long.

On the other hand, the bacteria that cause these infections could live on dry surfaces anywhere from a few days to many months. These include: 

  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (up to 4 months) 
  • MRSA (up to 7 months) 
  • Streptococcal pharyngitis (up to 6.5 months) 
  • E. coli (up to 16 months) 
  • Pertussis (up to 5 days)
  • C. diff (up to 5 months) 
  • Tuberculosis (up to 4 months)
  • Rotavirus (up to 2 months) 
  • Hepatitis A (up to 2 months)

It’s virtually impossible to know if the environment is contaminated and with what. Infectious agents are invisible, making it difficult to see if you’ve come in contact with something hazardous. Additionally, some infections are able to spread from person to person before symptoms even begin and after they go away. 

Bio-hazard cleanup experts have access to personal protection equipment (PPE) and the ability to dispose of contaminated material properly. 

4. Property Damage 

Part of the cleanup process is assessing a property to determine what can and cannot be disinfected. The CDC advises that contaminated sites are disinfected using an EPA-registered tuberculocidal agent or other approved product. 

All biological matter must be removed, which is a detailed and meticulous process. Bodily fluids can permanently contaminate surfaces like carpets, sheetrock, drywall, concrete, wood flooring, and other porous mediums. Therefore, simply scrubbing the areas is not good enough. 

Let a Professional Deal with Bio-Hazard Dangers 

There is a lot to handle when you lose a loved one, so let Bio-One of Dallas County take this task off your hands. Our specialists are trained in the safe handling and disposal of bio-hazard material and sanitization as well as compassion.

If you’re in need of professional cleanup and decontamination, give us a call or request service here