Once officials have investigated and collected evidence at the scene of crime that’s been contaminated with biological material, there’s only one thing left to do: clean up.
After all the disruption and chaos, you want things to return to normal as quickly as possible. You might be tempted to have your regular maintenance team clean up the scene, hire an ordinary cleaning company to do it, or even start cleaning yourself, but these are not good options — the only safe option is to hire a professional biohazard cleanup team.
The risks of improper cleanup
Aside from the stress and discomfort that may result from cleaning up the scene yourself, there are also potential health concerns and legal repercussions. Crime and trauma scene cleanup can be very dangerous work that should only be done by trained professionals with biohazard experience. Here are just a few of the risks associated with improperly executed cleanup:
The presence of bodily fluids and exposed tissue during crime and trauma scene cleanup can result in the transmission of bacteria and viruses such as measles, MRSA, C-diff, and Norovirus, many of which can survive outside the body for days or even weeks. MRSA bacteria, for example, can survive on hard surfaces for up to several months, and require specific disinfectants and procedures to remove.
Blood borne illnesses
HIV, Hepatitis, and other bloodborne pathogens don’t die immediately after leaving the body, and dried blood can remain contaminated for extended periods of time. Bloodborne pathogens can enter the body through cuts, and some can also be transmitted through contact with mucus membranes such as the eyes or mouth.
At drug lab scenes, dangerous and unstable chemicals are abundant. Methanol, acetone, ammonia, benzene, iodine, metallic lithium, and hydrochloric acid are just a few examples of substances you might encounter during a lab cleanup. Prolonged exposure to vapors and direct contact with the skin pose serious health risks.
Some of those materials, such as iodine and acetone, might be found in the average medicine cabinet, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe to handle — the high concentrations used to manufacture methamphetamines are far more dangerous than their everyday use counterparts.
Improper disposal of biohazard waste and other hazardous substances is punishable by law. Disposal must be compliant with OSHA, as well as health and safety codes at the state and federal levels.
For example, biohazard cleanup in California must comply with OSHA as well as standards set forth by the California Health and Safety Code and the California Environmental Protection Agency.
To avoid violation fines or even potential lawsuits, hire biohazard cleanup experts who know how to dispose of waste safely and legally.
How to choose a crime scene cleanup services company
When choosing a crime scene cleanup services company, the last thing you want to do is cut corners. Ensure a smooth, safe, and legal cleanup process by selecting a company with the following:
24/7 emergency service
Crime can happen at any time. No one wants to leave a messy crime scene to sit overnight (or worse, over the weekend), especially when there is biohazardous waste involved. With 24/7 service, crime scenes get cleaned up as soon as possible, so everyone involved can move on to the next steps — whether that’s reopening a place of business, moving back into a home, or grieving a lost loved one.
Full compliance with the law
As previously discussed, crime scene cleanup requires compliance with state and federal law. Be sure to select a service provider that demonstrates full knowledge of and compliance with rules from regulatory bodies.
The American Bio Recovery Association (ABRA) is the only third-party organization that offers training and certification for crime and trauma cleanup companies. Look for the “ABRA Certified Bio-Recovery Technician” seal to identify certified companies.
Professionalism and discretion
Crime scenes are sensitive environments. Big trucks advertising trauma cleanup can draw undesirable attention, and loud or inconsiderate crew members can further upset grieving family members.
Cleanup companies must also communicate and cooperate with law enforcement, property owners, and insurance companies, so be sure to select a company that has the professionalism and experience to handle the process tactfully.
About Alliance Environmental Group
Alliance Environmental Group is one of the most experienced and trusted environmental contractors in California. Our technicians are thoroughly trained and certified to handle the decontamination and cleanup of trauma scenes, blood borne pathogens, and biohazardous waste.
Alliance Environmental Group is proud to have:
- Extensive experience with both trauma scene and methamphetamine lab site cleanup
- Full compliance with all existing regulatory agencies
- 12 office locations throughout the state of California, plus 2 additional offices in Phoenix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV
- Relationships with organizations — such as local and state police, insurance companies, government agencies, and property management companies — who trust our work
- Discreet and respectful technicians who understand the sensitive nature of cleanup sites
If you have a crime scene or methamphetamine lab site that needs remediation, don’t risk using an inexperienced cleaning company. Instead, allow Alliance Environmental Group to offer you the same safe, efficient, high-quality services we’ve provided on over 160,000 projects.