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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO: All About Biohazards and the Commercial Cleaning Process

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: The article by SERVPRO discusses biohazards, their types and levels, and the general process to clean up this threat.

All about biohazards at commercial spaces

A biological hazard, or biohazard, is any biological material that poses a risk to human or animal health. Individuals working in the medical field are at the highest risk of exposure to biohazards. However, this exposure is also prevalent in professions such as law enforcement, coroners, medical examiners, property management, veterinary medicine, waste management, manufacturing, and agriculture. Scenarios in which solid waste or contaminated water saturate building materials or contents, commercial cleaning services and restoration treatments become necessary for health and safety. SERVPRO discusses biohazards in detail below.

The levels of biohazards

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are 4 levels of biohazards:

  • Biohazard Level 1: Agents that pose minimal threat to humans and the environment.
  • Biohazard Level 2: Agents that can cause severe illness in humans and are transmitted through direct contact with infected material. 
  • Biohazard Level 3: These include pathogens that become airborne and cause serious diseases. Medications and treatments are usually available for this classification.
  • Biohazard Level 4: Viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that pose a high risk of life-threatening diseases for which there are no treatments available. 

Categories of biohazards

There are four categories of biohazards that identify the types of materials involved and help determine the correct decontamination procedure for biohazard cleanup professionals.

  1. Pathological Waste

Pathological waste includes any type of human or animal organs, tissues, and body parts that have been exposed to infectious agents. This biohazard is found mostly in medical environments but may also be a result of accidents and violent crimes. 

  1. Liquid Waste

Liquid waste includes any liquid or fluid from humans or animals. This usually includes blood and blood products like serum and plasma. Other liquid wastes are semen, vaginal fluids, cerebral spinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, and saliva. This also includes blood and fluids from animals.

  1. Solid Waste

Solid waste includes a wide variety of non-sharp items that come in contact with human or animal specimen materials, such as tissues or body fluids. These items include, but are not limited to Petri dishes, pipettes, personal protective equipment, towels and linens, and any sort of dishes and containers. 

  1. Sharp Waste

Sharp waste includes any item in the vicinity of biohazard contamination that poses a risk of puncturing the skin. This includes medical equipment like needles, syringes, glass slides, and IVs with needles. In residential, commercial, and industrial environments, this waste includes knives, razor blades, saws, broken glass, and rough metal edges. 

The common biohazard scenarios

Backed by an industry-leading training program and over 50 years of experience in biohazard decontamination, SERVPRO professionals clean properties with a higher standard of cleanliness. The common biohazard scenarios are:

  1. Sewage Backups

Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO franchise professionals remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

  1. Pathogens

SERVPRO franchise professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO franchise professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

  1. Methamphetamine Labs

SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO franchise professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

The clean-up process

When it comes to cleaning biohazards, not even a single spot or item can be overlooked or missed as it can pose serious health consequences. Since microbes are invisible to the naked eye, removing them requires a special kind of know-how. SERVPRO professionals are trained to safely clean and remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. The generic steps that the team follows are:

Step 1

Wear appropriate PPE, including liquid/airtight clothing, goggles, respirator, gloves

Step 2

Create a clean space or control room to manage entry/exit from the contaminated area

Step 3

Identify primary biohazards and areas of contamination

Step 4

Remove any unsalvageable items and clean visible damage

Step 5

Continue to clean under and around the damaged area, stripping back each layer of floor or wall and testing beneath

Step 6

Use UV light sources such as hydroxyl generators to sanitize and deodorize the air

Step 7

Dispose of all biohazard material according to state and local regulations 

Whenever certain biohazard wastes or contaminated water saturate building materials or contents, biohazard cleanups and restoration treatments by a commercial cleaning company such as SERVPRO are necessary for health and safety. 


  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Hurst-Euless-Bedford is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Hurst, Euless, Bedford, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill-up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For commercial cleaning and restoration services, call SERVPRO® of Hurst-Euless-Bedford today at (817) 595-0004 or e-mail at office@SERVPROheb.com

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