When most people think of biohazards, they think of outbreaks of deadly diseases like Ebola or Zika. But biohazards can also include less-lethal hazards like animal waste or infectious medical waste. In this blog post, we'll provide an introduction to biohazards and discuss some of the common risks associated with them. We'll also talk about how to protect yourself and your family from these dangers. Stay safe out there!
1. What is a biohazard?
A biohazard is any biological substance that creates an unacceptable risk to humans. That means there are no simple rules like "if it's red, leave it be." A biohazard may come in different forms depending on the type of biological material. Here are some common forms that you might encounter:
Animal waste (e.g., faeces, urine)
If exposed to animal waste without protection, you're at increased risk of contracting E. coli or salmonella infections through direct contact or indirect contact with surfaces where the waste has landed after being tracked into the home via shoes or paws.
- Blood-borne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis can enter your body by coming in contact with your skin, eyes, mouth or nose, so those dealing with biohazard cleaning must take necessary precautions.
- Hazardous medical waste
- Improperly disposing of medical waste can cause infections or other health problems for sanitation workers and others who come into contact with it.
- Soil/water contaminated by animal waste
Contaminated soil can contain salmonella. Drinking water that's been exposed to human sewage or animal waste may be full of giardia or cryptosporidium parasites, both of which cause diarrhoea.
2. What are the risks associated with cleaning up a biohazard
In some cases, simply being in contact with certain types of biohazards is enough to cause an infection. In other cases, it may take time for symptoms to develop after exposure, putting someone at increased risk as long as they're still coming into contact with the hazard (e.g., someone who might not immediately realize they've touched something contaminated). When dealing with anything that's potentially infectious or hazardous, your priority should always be protecting yourself and others from harm; That means using protection like gloves and masks when cleaning up any biohazard.
Contact a local biohazard cleaning company today if you would like to find out more about how a cleaning service can help you contain and dispose of a biohazard in your home. A member of staff will be happy to help you.