This article is meant to assist you in identifying biohazards in and around the home in order to keep your family safe. Being able to spot a potential hazard is key to distinguishing what is safe to clean up on your own, and what must be handled by a professional. Knowing the best and safest way to act will ensure that your family is healthy and safe.
Common Biohazards in the Home
Most biohazards cannot be viewed with the naked eye. They are only visible with a microscope. In many cases though, you can see visible evidence of the biohazard, but not the actual pathogens. For example, flood waters and sewage often contain bacteria, fungi, mold, parasites, and viruses that are harmful. But barring a natural disaster, what are the more common biohazards in the home?
Any bodily fluids from a human or animal are considered a biohazard. All bodily fluids pose the risk of being contaminated with viruses, bacteria, and other toxins that can make you ill and are only safely handled by a professional. Obviously, we are not suggesting that you call a professional to handle a scraped knee or cut finger! Mom and Dad can easily address that with antibiotic ointment and a band-aid. The type of liquid hazardous waste that will need professional disposal, cleaning, and restoration are generally found at the scene of an accident, violent crime, or death or suicide in the home.
Anything that is sharp enough to puncture the skin and may have come into contact with biohazardous materials, must be treated with special care. Syringes, broken glass, and knives/blades are among common biohazards in the home. If you have young children, it is important to teach them about the dangers of handling a family member’s insulin syringes or other medical equipment. A sharp object provides an instantaneous entryway into your bloodstream. Be sure you know the correct way to dispose of medical waste in medically approved containers, and if you ever find unknown syringes or other medical implements in or around your home, contact a professional immediately.
Gloves, containers, towels, and any clothing that has come into contact with a biohazard must be treated with the same care as the biohazard itself. Anything that was used to clean a biohazard, or protect your skin from the biohazard, must now be treated as contaminated and handled appropriately.
Human or animal organs, tissues, and body parts that have been removed are all pathological waste. Generally, in the home, where this becomes an issue is in the case of an animal carcass. Pathological waste should always be cleaned by a professional, both for your physical health as well as your mental and emotional health.
Be Safe, Not Sorry When Keeping Your Family Safe from Biohazards in the Home
Remember, biohazards can enter the body through absorption, ingestion, inhalation, injection or through a scrape or cut. Still not sure if you are dealing with a potential biohazard in your home? Give us a call 1-866-305-8001and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.