Biological hazards are potentially dangerous biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms. Biohazardous contamination can occur rapidly in any indoor environment, and the danger can intensify without professional biohazard remediation. Understanding what is considered a biohazard and reacting with extreme caution is paramount to achieving and/or maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
Biological hazards arise exclusively from a biological source, and do not include manufactured contaminations, such as chemicals. Biohazard remediation specialists should be immediately retained to clean areas that are contaminated. If biohazardous materials are not properly remediated, they can cause an unsafe environment.
Contaminants Requiring Biohazard Remediation
Biohazardous substances requiring professional biohazard remediation include a multiplicity of sources and avenues of contamination. Considering potentially dangerous biological materials will impart a rudimentary understanding of possible biological threats. Primary sources of biohazard contamination typically include either a biological agent or biotoxin.
Biological agents usually refer to organisms that can directly cause human disease. Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.
Biotoxins are toxic or poisonous substances with a biological origin. Plants, bacteria, insects, or animals can produce biotoxins. Biotoxins can continue to contaminate an indoor environment even if the biological entity responsible has perished or vacated the premises.
Blood can contain dangerous biological agents that can transmit disease. Blood contamination of an indoor environment requires immediate biohazard remediation to safely eliminate the threat. Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted through direct contact with contaminated biological material.
Biological materials containing blood and potential vectors of transmission like needles and other “sharps” require professional biohazard remediation. Sharps are any object that may cut or puncture the skin and could become contaminated with a biological material. The most common health risks associated with a contaminated sharp include Hepatitis B, HIV, and Hepatitis C.
Contaminated Biological Matter
Biological Matter, other than blood, may also be require biohazard remediation. Blood products in liquid or semi-liquid form are biohazardous. Some of these bodily fluids include cerebral spinal fluid, amniotic fluid, pericardial fluid, semen, faces, peritoneal fluid, and saliva.
Animal Products & Waste
Some animal diseases are transmissible to humans and require professional biohazard remediation. Animal waste, carcasses, body parts, and bedding material are often contaminated with pathogenic organisms that are infectious to humans.
Organic material is any substance that used to be or was produced by a living organism. Examples of potentially biohazardous organic matter include rubbish, wastewater and sewerage, plant materials, and organic dust.
Pathogenicity refers to the ability of biohazardous material to cause disease. Infection ensues when pathogenic microorganisms enter the body via a specific avenue and in sufficient concentrations to overcome the immune system.
Mucous membrane exposure to biohazardous materials can cause severe illness and even death. The primary avenues of exposure include the eyes, mouth, nose, skin, hair follicles, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, cuts, abrasions and genitalia.
Inhalation of aerosolized microscopic solid or liquid particles is a primary route of biohazard transmission. Effective conveyance requires particles small enough to remain suspended in the air for extended periods.
Ingestion is the process of absorption into the body via mucous membranes such as the mouth and eyes. Ingestion of biohazardous materials is often the result of poor personal hygiene and lax housekeeping practices. Personal cleanliness minimizes the chance of ingestion exposure to a biological threat, and diligent cleaning can reduce or eliminate biohazard contamination.
Injection occurs when biohazardous material is introduced into the body through the skin via a contaminated object. Contaminated sharps and infected animals or arthropod vectors are primary avenues of infection by route of injection.
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the 4 biosafety levels, with each of them having specific controls to contain microbes and biological agents:
Biohazard Level 1: Often pertains to agents that include viruses and bacteria, this biosafety level requires minimal precaution, such as wearing face masks and maintaining no close contact. The biological hazard examples in the first level include E. coli and other non-infectious bacteria.
Biohazard Level 2: Usually causing severe diseases to humans, the second level classifies agents that can be transmitted through direct contact with infected materials. HIV and hepatitis B are some biological hazard examples that pose moderate risks to humans.
Biohazard Level 3: Mainly through respiratory transmission, pathogens that are highly likely to become airborne can cause serious or lethal diseases to humans. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, is an example of a level-3 biohazard.
Biohazard Level 4: Extremely dangerous pathogens that expose humans to life-threatening diseases, the fourth and last level requires workers to utilize maximum protection and containment. Some biological hazard examples are the Ebola virus and the Lassa virus.
Professional Biohazard Restoration
Property Recovery 911 provides professional biohazard remediation in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Our technicians are available 24/7 to clean, remove and properly dispose of hazardous biological substances in accordance with OSHA guidelines and governmental health regulations. If faced with potential biohazard contamination, evacuate the site immediately then contact us at (267) 808-7200 to isolate the area and mitigate the threat.