Recent Biohazard Posts

Drug Epidemic is Affecting Families and First Responders!

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

Image of drug epidemic in Shasta County Image of drug epidemic in Shasta County, California.

There is another epidemic growing in the United States and it isn't what you think. Manufactured Fentanyl is on the rise! Originally designed and created to treat chronic severe pain after surgery, Fentanyl is now being smuggled into the United States and used to make illegal drugs more potent. As an example, compared to morphine, Fentanyl is 100 x stronger, creating a recipe for disaster if the wrong dose is administered. 

Fentanyl was created in 1959 and introduced to the world in the 1960s, but it wasn't until 2011 that the rise of illegal use began. Today the increase continues to rise, forming the perfect storm for an epidemic. 

Lacing Fentanyl into other illegal substances without the consumer's knowledge continues to be a problem. According to the NCDHHS, "As little as two milligrams, about the size of 5 grains of salt, can cause negative health effects including trouble breathing, dizziness, and possible overdose." 

This epidemic isn't just affecting the consumers but also our first responders and children. A legally prescribed Fentanyl patch wrongly discarded can create a potential exposure threat to children. Luckily the CDC has released a long list of recommendations for keeping our first responders safe, trained, and aware of what signs to look for, for possible fentanyl exposure. 

If you, your child, or someone you know has been exposed to fentanyl or experiencing an opioid overdose, call 911 immediately. Police officers, emergency medical technicians, and first responders are trained on how to administer Naloxone, a medicine commonly used to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

Like all epidemics, we need each other to help fight this war. The American Medical Association is partnering with physicians, state and federal policymakers, " to combat the nation’s drug overdose and death epidemic."  on a medical level.

 How can you help? Check out the U.S. Department of Health's Overdose Prevention Strategy for more information on how you can do your part to end this epidemic! 


SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties specializes in biohazard cleaning. Our technicians have been trained and certified to keep you and your loved ones safe by creating a clean, biohazard-free environment.  Give us a call if you need us! We are here 24/7, 365 days a week! 530-222-0200

White Gloves in a Biohazard Situation?

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Image of White Gloves being used in a biohazard cleanup in Northern California Image of SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity, & Greater Tehama Counties pulling out their white gloves to treat Biohazard cleanup with care & compassion.

Most of us spend every day without ever having to think about needing a company that does biohazard cleanup. Biohazard, even the name, starts to fire up our imagination of some space suit cleaning some highly contagious virus. But don't let the name fool you! Biohazard cleanup is more of a common occurrence than one might think, and you need a company that brings out the white gloves in such sensitive situations. That's where we come in! 

Our biohazard services include:

Sensitivity, Compassion, Details, and Time are some of the keywords our company strives to uphold during every call we are on. 

  1. Sensitivity / Compassion 
    • We know that walking in any of these situations can be hard and challenging for anyone. Creating an individual approach to every call is where our standards begin. You matter, your accidents matter, death in the family matters, we specialize in bringing the focus back to you and your loved ones. 
  2. Details 
    •  Biohazard = removal of harmful microorganisms, bodily fluids, tissue, and pathogenic substances. Restoring and bringing things back to their original design requires fine-tooth combing through carpets, walls, cabinets, etc. We train, suit up, go through certifications, so you know your family home or office is safe, secure, and clean for you to live and work. 
  3. Time - Accidents happen 24 hours 7 days a week, that is why our hours are the same. No one should wait for "normal" business hours to receive help.  


Flashy ads, chatty salesmen, celebrity-filled commercials are a great way to grab your attention, but sometimes life calls for a more sensitive approach. Knowing the difference is what makes us unique. White gloves aren't just for the wealthy, they are for treating things that are sensitive and of high value. Your life, loved ones, home, office, or animals are what we consider a high priority, and the white gloves are waiting for you to call.  530-222-0200

Redding Hoarding Cleanup

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Hoarding cleanup technician with words If you or a loved one are needing hoarding cleanup, contact us today. We would love to help!

In a recent article, medicinenet.com discussed some of the causes of hoarding. They listed altered brain connections, serotonin and OCD, hereditary, environmental conditions, and stressful life events. None of these situations are simple, and it’s never easy on the loved ones caring for those who are hoarding. At SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties, we care about our community, and situations like hoarding are handled with the highest care and respect for humanity. More than just your property, we aim to restore peace of mind. Here are some ways while performing Hoarding cleanup that we strive to do just that.

Care for the property

Hoarding cleanup is unique in that it’s usually attached to psychological hurdles. In our experience with hoarding cleanup over the years, we have faced some of the toughest, most heart sobering moments. We have learned that while performing biohazard cleanup services for these particular situations, it requires an open and caring heart. We have realized that a bond has been created between the items in a space, and the person hoarding them. Any time we have the opportunity to serve in this way, we bring a level of respect and care to match what's needed in the removal of those items. We will always treat those belongings as if they were our own prized possessions.

Care for the people

Normally with much of biohazard cleanup, the cause affects a family rather than just an individual. By far, biohazard cleanup requires the most sincerity of heart and understanding. We take pride in the fact  that our company is people first, which is why we are so passionate about the work we do. As challenging as hoarding cleanup can be, we are happy to be the ones not only providing a high level of service, but also a high level of care!

Empathy and professionalism

As we have continued to serve the people in need in Redding, Shasta County, and the surrounding areas, we have recognized through their feedback two attributes that define a large portion of who we are. Those two attributes are empathy and professionalism. Especially with biohazard cleanup, we feel those two attributes should be an experience every customer has. 

We have dug deeper to discover what empathy and professionalism mean to our customers, and this is what we have found. When they mention empathy, what they referred to was how they felt and our attitude towards them. When they mentioned professionalism, what our customers meant was not only our quality of work but the way we treated them throughout the process. This can be expected in every hoarding, biohazard, or other disaster restoration situation we help with.

Our incredible community has great resources to help overcome the emotional challenges associated with hoarding. Here is a link containing a few places that would be great to contact .

www.clutterhoardingcleanup.com/resources/local-hoarding-resources/california-hoarding-resources

Additionally, If you or a loved one is struggling with hoarding and want to begin the process of cleanup, we would love to help.

530-222-0200

Biohazard Cleanup Types

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Biohazard mask graphic If you are in need of biohazard cleanup, contact us today! 530-222-0200

As the saying goes: "It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it." Biohazard cleanup oftentimes can be accompanied by sensitive situations, so it's not only important to get the job done, but also to handle it with care and respect. Here are some of the various biohazard cleanup types.

Unattended death

Unattended death would be any time someone passes away without the knowledge or care of another person. These are some of the most unfortunate situations, as it is usually other family members that find their loved ones deceased. Added to the emotional state of families during this time, the trauma that can accompany cleaning a space where unattended death happened is definitely worth avoiding. Unattended death is a situation we handle with great respect and care as well as professionalism.

Sewage

Sewage can generally contain bacteria, viruses, and other elements that can cause illness. Sewage cleaning should only be done with proper training and protective equipment. Once again, not the most desirable job, but sewage cleanup is something we take pride in as we understand how it keeps the people safe around the damaged area. If you suspect sewage cleanup is necessary, don't wait to call, a sewage spill should be taken care of before it causes potential harm.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program

With the onset of Covid-19, we wanted to respond in a way that would be equally helpful, and fit the needs a business would have. 89% of consumers are uneasy about going back to brick-and-mortar locations. Combine that with over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, and we knew there was a solution we could provide! Following protocols from the CDC, we are able to clean proactively, and in areas that have had known infections.

If you are in need of biohazard cleanup, don’t hesitate to call us! We will handle every situation with care and compassion as well as professionalism. 

530-222-0200

When Do You Need Biohazard Cleanup

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Graphic of Biohazard cleaning For Biohazard cleanup contact us today! 530-222-0200

It may not always be clear what situations require professional biohazard cleanup services. Most of the dangers come from what you don’t see, so what may seem safe, in fact, may carry extremely high danger. Here are some situations that would be best to hire someone to perform biohazard cleanup. 

Chemical Spills

Many of our everyday products are manufactured in factories with the use of chemicals. As these factories do pay very close attention to the risk and safety of these chemicals, accidents do happen. If proper cleanup and disposal do not occur with these chemicals, they could infect the surrounding air and water, and endanger the people around it. 

Unattended Death

Much can be said about the emotional and psychological dangers of finding and cleaning up after a loved one post mortem. The life of a person deserves the utmost respect and value, as does death. Often in these situations, it’s not just about finding a biohazard cleanup company, but also one that operates with empathy and compassion. 

Communicable Disease

Unfortunately, we live in a time where this is all too common. Businesses especially need to take proper precautions, as they have a large number of people in and out of their building. Every day cleaning products and techniques won’t be enough to keep a business safe. This type of cleaning requires protocols from the CDC applied by trained professionals. 

Blackwater

Often when flooding occurs from a bathroom it contains blackwater. Blackwater contains fecal matter, usually from toilets or sewer lines. Blackwater is considered hazardous since it most likely contains pathogens. Often when flooding occurs from a bathroom it contains blackwater

If you suspect that you need professional biohazard cleanup services, don’t hesitate, contact us today!

530-222-0200

SERVPROnorthshasta.com

Blood, Decomposition and Pathogens - SERVPRO Biohazard Waste Clean Up

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Trauma - Crime Scene - Biohazard Clean Up - Call Us 24/7 365 at (530) 222-0200

Biohazard waste is all too often the product of a bad situation. 

SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties technicians first and foremost are trained to exercise compassion and professionalism with loved ones and family members having to confront the sanitization and removal of infectious materials.  With that said, as a SERVPRO franchise, we are fully California Department of Health and Safety certified and IICRC trained to contain and remove biomedical waste and infectious substances.

Hazardous waste falls within in a broad range of categories: blood, body fluid from trauma and decomposition, tissue, organs and body parts, medical laboratory waste such as used hypodermic needles and surgical instruments along with, chemicals and waste from illegal drug manufacturing.   Pet urine and animal fecal matter, rodent droppings, burst sewer pipes and infected storm runoff water and flooding from severe weather provide a well-rounded list of what can be considered biohazard.

Let’s discuss for a moment emergency vehicle decontamination.  Police and Fire first responders rushing to provide assistance to the City of Redding and Shasta County residents in need rely on absolutely sanitized emergency vehicles free of previous bloodborne pathogens from a suicide or homicide.  We address these public safety concerns by adhering to rigid health standards and medical waste containment.  Blood, in particular, carries a host of disease microorganisms including Hepatitis B (Serum Hepatitis), Hepatitis C (HCV), HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, Bacterial Meningitis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).

We work closely with our local EMS and health professionals to decontaminate and sterilize the walls, ceilings and floors of homes.  Our technicians utilize the latest biohazard protective suits and package, label and transport these wastes in biocontainment vessels.   As one of Northern California’s leading restoration providers we fully understand the traumatic moments just after a death or crime scene and the professional response of timely biohazard clean up.   

Contact us at (530) 222-0200

Compassion and Crime Scene, Trauma, Infectious and Biological Hazard Clean Up

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Crime Scene Cleanup crew in Redding BioHazard | Trauma | Crime Scene Clean Up | SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity and Greater Tehama Counties | 530-222-0200

A Shasta County family has a tragic and horrible accident. 

An individual dies or suffers severe injury through unattended death, a commercial or industrial accident, homicide, or suicide which has a life-altering effect on family members, employers and the local communities.  Biohazard disinfection in these cases would include the cleaning of blood and body fluids, communicable diseases, infection, blood-borne pathogens and toxic chemicals.  

A recent article, worth reading, reports that a mother’s son died in the home bathroom from a drug overdose. The mother went into the bathroom to clean up the scene and simply by touching toxic drug residue in the area she overdosed herself.   Tragedy upon tragedy in this true account.  Simply put, this is the very reason that qualified and trained professional like SERVPRO must be utilized as necessary first responders.  Biohazard toxic materials can, in fact, become lethal to well-meaning family members.

First responders such as our local Redding fire and police officers, property owners, families, friends, and ultimately insurance agents are all within the crime scene and trauma infectious and biological hazard clean up pipeline.  SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties is considered Northern California’s priority responder providing compassionate and professional clean up services.  When a body begins to decompose the internal organs and tissues emit gas and fluids which contaminate nearby property, walls, and structural underflooring with toxic agents.  For example, carpet typically allows blood to soak through into the flooring.  As decomposition continues these fluids can, in fact, transmit diseases such as Salmonella, Cholera, TB, Hepatitis (Type A and B), HIV /AIDS, H1N1 and various Flu strains.   Where the scene includes the remains of lab or drug use, Meth or Heroin, provides an additional risk.

Our SERVPRO Technicians are trained and certified in biohazard remediation and disinfection.  They utilize special equipment such as personal protective gear (PPE) along with tools and equipment made to contain medical waste.  We also have the chemicals necessary to properly sanitize not only blood and biological residue but also to neutralize lingering odors. 

Compassionate specialized response is the key in these situations of unexpected trauma.  When our local community knows that SERVPRO has the best interests of families in mind this can ease the emotional pain of the tragedy. Characteristics like kindness, understanding and compassion along with the training, experience and equipment to remediate and disinfect a home or business back to it’s original state come together with the utmost professionalism in the clean up process.

SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties

“We are here to help”     (530) 222-0200    Open 24/7  – 365 Days A Year

Crime Scene Cleanup - Hospital Grade Sanitation - Blood Borne Pathogens

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard cleanup technician Crime Scene Cleanup - Homicide, Suicide or Other Serious Blood Spill in Your Home.

Removal: Biological Contaminants, Odors

Restoration: Property, Home and Livability

SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties ensures every trauma scene meets or exceeds hospital-grade sanitation standards. SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties employs trained service technicians who are skilled in removing harmful biological contaminants, as well as any lingering odors. As remediation specialists, our primary goal is to preserve the customer’s property and return the home to a safe, livable condition.

1. Three Zone Crime Scene Containment

Industry standard and proven sanitation techniques used by our technicians establish a "three zone" cleaning barrier. Three "maximum control" zones using plastic sheeting and bio-tape separate the contaminated area from other parts of the building. This prevents cross-contamination from occurring between clean and affected rooms:

  • The Control Zone is the contamination area, where work will take place.
  • The Buffer Zone is where technicians put on personal protective equipment, and fill disposal boxes.
  • The Clean Zone is designated to store tools and equipment, in order to prevent cross contamination.

During all stages of the sanitation process, SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties technicians are fully protected by Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including respiratory gear, a double layer of gloves, and hazmat suits designed especially for biohazard recovery.

We treat all crime scenes as if they contain a life threatening infection, because some of the worst viruses are known to survive in blood and biological materials. Statistics from the CDC show that 1 in 24 people has either HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

2. Biohazard Cleaning and Structural Removal

  •     Cleaning: SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties technicians start by removing all traces of dirt, chemicals, blood and biological materials from the control zone. Personal property that cannot be remediated must be disassembled and disposed of as medical waste.
  •     Sanitization: After cleaning, technicians treat the control zone with disinfectants by spraying surfaces at precise intervals. Following treatment, the crew wipes all surfaces manually a second time before using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) fluorescence testing, the same technology used by hospitals to verify sanitation level.
  •     Deodorization: In the final step, Sterile Pros uses a deodorizer to eliminate the possibility of lingering odors. 

If you’ve had a homicide, suicide or other serious blood spill in your home, we know it’s an unbelievably painful experience for you. After the sirens fade, you’re the one left with the chaos, the pain and the mess. Besides blood and other body fluids, there may be damage to property, tear gas, fingerprint dust and chemicals. The investigation of crime scenes often yields cross-contamination from room to room. It may seem too overwhelming to even know where to start. That’s where we can help.

Our professional standards of conduct mean we have standardized practices which are built on meeting the most stringent state and local regulations regarding credentials, licensing, insurance and training.

CrimeSceneTape-BiohazardGlove

The moment we arrive, our teams are trained to use compassion, discretion and communication skills. They will take as much time as you need to understand the process, the costs and payment options. We will take pictures to help document the scene for you, and give you a written estimate.

Please phone 24/7 SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties - (530) 222-0200

Biohazard leave it to the Professionals

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

The owner of this home was in her late 80s. She owned 3 dogs and 6 cats, as she grew older she lost her ability to move around her home freely. With no family or friends around to help her or check on her regularly she couldn’t care for herself let alone her animals. For an unknown period, the animals were not being let outside therefore, the only place to go to the bathroom was inside the home. By the time APS (Adult Protective Services) arrived, the home was covered in feces. APS called a few housekeeping companies to clean the home. When turned down by all the regular cleaning service providers in town they called SERVPRO of North Shasta.  We had everything cleaned up in time for her to come home to a private care giver and to ensure she would never experience this again.

The After Meth

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

When an Oregon family started experiencing mysterious health problems soon after moving into a new home this summer, a neighbor came forward with a likely explanation: The previous owners had produced methamphetamine there. The house had never been properly cleaned after the drug cooks moved out, but an environmental engineer who studies meth labs says the family may not have been safe even if a cleanup had taken place. 


His research suggests that once a house has been used to make meth, the drug can continue to percolate in the walls for years.


"We said, 'It needs a little bit of love, but it's got good bones,'" Jonathan Hankins told Yahoo News of the home he and his wife Beth bought in Klamath Falls, Ore., from Freddie Mac. "We just had no idea that those bones were poisonous."


Breathing problems started for Beth within days of move-in. Soon Jonathan was suffering from nosebleeds and migraine headaches, and the couple's 2-year-old son, Ezra, had mouth sores. The Hankins said a test showed methamphetamine contamination was at 80 times the state's designated safe limit. [Was D.A.R.E. Effective?]


Glenn Morrison, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to study how methamphetamine accumulates in building materials, furniture and common household items during production. His findings so far seem to validate Jonathan Hankins' choice to call his house's "bones" poisonous.


"You can have a very clean wall and still have the walls releasing chemicals," said Morrison. "Let's say the meth lab was busted, and they took out everything and washed it down and aired it out for a week or so, that's probably sufficient to remove solvents and things that end up in dust. What it doesn't do is get at those chemicals — methamphetamines and similar compounds — that have penetrated through the drywall and into the building structure."


Though some states have authored their own guidelines, no national standards exist on meth lab-cleanup or acceptable levels of methamphetamine exposure.


Methamphetamine Labs 


Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our technicians follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

The 5 Myths of Crime Scene Cleanup

8/11/2016 (Permalink)

Most consumers are not familiar with what crime scene cleanup entails. Popular culture closely associated the field with the highly technical and impersonal procedures that are popularized by primetime crime television shows. However,  there is more to crime scene cleanup than hi-tech resources and analysis. In fact, it is important to focus on the individuals that are most affected by these scenes—the residents, employees or members of the public whose lives have been disrupted by a traumatic event.

For SERVPRO, it is crucial for people to understand that crime scene cleanup is not only about disinfecting an area, but also helping affected individuals deal with an often-emotional situation and get back to their normal lives in a timely manner. Taking this approach, SERVPRO strives to educate the public about the many misconceptions that apply to this necessary—but deeply misunderstood—industry.

CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS

Myth One: Law Enforcement Professionals Will Clean a Crime Scene

Investigators and law enforcement examine essential evidence at a crime scene. They collect important information, assess the scene and then move on to take the next step within a case. They do not typically have a cleanup team.

Furthermore, crime scene investigators may not just be taking away evidence. They could also contribute to or spread existing biohazards. Certain chemicals, sprays and other resources could further impact a home or other living area, complicating an already problematic situation. Crime scene cleanup professionals are adept in removing these materials in addition to blood and other biological waste.

Myth Two: Tax Dollars Pay For Crime Scene Cleanup

In connection with the above, some people assume that crime scene cleanup is a service that is paid by taxpayer money. However, it is important to recognize that once law enforcement and investigators are finished with their work, the property owner or victims are responsible for any cleanup.

This can be an incredible burden on many, especially those who are already struggling with unexpected expenses such as hospital stays or funerals. Fortunately, there are many insurance plans that cover crime scene cleanup services, and many states also have Victims Advocacy funds available. SERVPRO is a national leader recognized by many insurance companies and makes an effort to ensure that these payment options are explored for the client.

Myth Three: Crime Scene Cleanups Help Solve Investigations

There is also a common misconception that crime scene cleanup crews play a part in resolving a case, or that it’s like “CSI” the television show. However, in reality, these teams are usually dispatched as soon as all investigating parties have collected evidence and examined a scene.

The job of professional cleaning crews is not to examine clues, but to clean the affected area thoroughly, meticulously and in an efficient manner. An article from The Houston Chronicle relates, “…the job involves removing hazardous material then cleaning the scene to eliminate all traces of the incident. The work requires a strong stomach as well as a degree of sensitivity as cleaners often encounter people who have recently lost their loved ones in violent circumstances.”

One SERVPRO representative adds, “We are not solving crimes. We are cleaning up and recovering areas where crimes and other tragedies happen.”

Myth Four: Cleanup Crews Only Provide Services at Homicide Scenes

One myth SERVPRO strives to dispel is that crime scene cleanup crews only work to restore and disinfect contaminated areas related to homicide and other crimes. An expert at SERVPRO explains, “Crime scenes are actually not the bulk of our work. It is suicides and unattended death where significant damage to the area has occurred.” Whatever the biohazard, SERVPRO crews are ready to assist nationwide.

Myth Five: Crime Scene Cleanup Crews Are Disrespectful to Victims

From the outset, a crime scene cleanup may seem rather impersonal. According to an article on Boston.com, “…the scene will be quarantined; plastic sheeting is erected and air scrubbers pump out the dirty air.” While professionals are required to wear biohazard suits and follow meticulous precautions to disinfect a given area, it does not mean that these crews are not connected to their work or that they do not care about the victims.

From helping customers understand what to expect in the process to assisting with insurance payments, SERVPRO takes extra care to ensure that biohazard cleanup remains as simple and painless as possible for the individuals who have been personally affected by a tragedy.

If you or someone you know is in need of a profession biohazard cleaning service, contact us for assistance nationwide, 24/7 at (530) 222-0200