You Need To Know When To Step Away
Last year, I received a call from a family member in distraught, because her brother finally returned home after a long stay in the hospital. She was always worried about her younger brother and she just wanted to do good by providing him with a clean, sanitized home when he returned.
After asking her some initial questions (which is protocol before entering any premises) she told me the story about her brother’s history and the reason to why she was hiring a professional hazmat cleaner.
The onset of her brother’s hospital stay was discovered by a neighbour who heard the cries of help coming from his apartment. Notifying the property manager, they frantically entered the apartment only to discover an emergency situation, and immediately called 911 and had him rushed to the hospital.
The property manager looked around and noticed that his apartment was in disarray, in fact it was filthy with clutter, debris and bodily fluids of vomit and defecation all throughout, as well as drugs and drug paraphernalia.
This particular low-income apartment building was under contract with a cleaning company, and without hesitation, the manager immediately called the cleaners to this poor gentleman’s apartment. The contracted house cleaner did what she was supposed to do and proceeded to clean up the majority of the bodily fluids, debris and drug paraphernalia all without any hesitation, questions, nor any proper protection or training.
Now apparently, her brother was in the hospital for several viruses and infections, such as hepatitis, AIDS and norovirus (Norwalk). To make matters worse, all the drugs and sharps found throughout the apartment, could have been contaminated with the deadly toxic substance of fentanyl or carfentanyl.
The sister proceeded to tell me that when she met with the young cleaner to let her in the apartment, that she wasn’t even wearing any sort of proper protection of mask, Tyvek and gloves.
I was called in after the initial clean to detail and sanitize and in my opinion, our roles should have been reversed. I should have been in there for the initial clean and had the contracted cleaner, do the final detail touches that I was called in to do. I was the one properly protected, even though the majority was cleaned because I was aware of all the hazards surrounding me.
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION IS…
You need to be cautious of the potential for deadly drugs as well as ebola, meningitis, rubella, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, diphtheria, shingles, cholera, meningitis, SARS, staph infection and many more infectious viruses and diseases.
A common way for infectious diseases to spread is through the direct transfer of bacteria, viruses or other germs from one person to another. This can occur when a non-infected individual is not properly protected and touches bodily fluids or inhales the airborne particulates.
Another common reality is the deadly drugs of fentanyl or carfentanil dust aerosolized within the apartment and even after the contaminants have been removed, the dust remains. Regardless of whether it is airborne when you enter the home, it is easily re-aerosolized by air currents. The simple act of opening the door to let yourself in, sends dust settled on carpets, tables and curtains back into the air.
Breathing in enough dust can cause intoxication, overdose or death – and there is no safe way of telling when enough is enough. This is why it is important that anyone exposed to airborne fentanyl dust wear a face mask that covers the nose, mouth and eyes – so that the dust does not come into contact with your lungs or mucous membranes through which it may be absorbed. It is also important to recognize that aerosolized dust may settle on your skin, hair and clothing and be absorbed or become airborne again at a later time. Wearing a full hazmat suit helps to protect you and those you come in contact with from delayed exposure.
Some hazards often found include biohazard and infectious waste, feces and fecal matter, expired food, trashed garbage, insects and rodents, mould, asbestos and more.
So, no matter what you are hired to clean or what your profession is, any home, commercial building, airplane, vehicle, prisons, yard maintenance, custodian or just cleaning for yourself, please remember the exposure to infectious deceases and the toxic substance of fentanyl is extremely dangerous and can pose serious health risks that need to be addressed properly by professional cleaners.
You’ve got to know when to walk away and know when to call in the professionals who are trained with infectious diseases and drug contamination.
I share these stories in hopes that it may keep you and your family safe when cleaning up after yourself or others. I have seen first-hand what some cleaners have cleaned, and I am here to educate and provide awareness to you for your well-being.
If you have ever encountered a job that is too dirty, hazardous or highly contaminated and you don’t feel comfortable cleaning it yourself because you are aware there could be high risks involved, then you need to call the professionals!
If you find yourself in this situation, please call us! We are Mayken, Your Life Cleaner and Safer! Mayken Hazmat Solutions : 403-272-1995