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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Haddonfield NJ,

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Haddonfield NJ,

Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Haddonfield NJ,

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of bloodbodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicideshomicides, and decompositionafter unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

have added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup".

Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional

cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity

because of media exposure and the growth of training programs

worldwide.The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination ("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazardremoval, blood

cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to

individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste

Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault,

homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named

primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions,

regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants

(e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors.

However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating

potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a

registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration,

carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.


Crime scene cleanup began primarily as a local or regional small business

activity but maturity and consolidation has created some larger

entities in the industry; only a few nationwide companies exist,

although some national carpet cleaning and restoration

companies franchises have added crime scene cleanup and biohazard

removal to their services. Due to the legal and ethical complications

crime scene cleanup is often its own business entity or a separate


Regulatory requirements

While the field of crime scene cleanup is not specifically regulated

as a class, most if not all of the activities performed by biohazard

cleanup teams in the United States are regulated or fall under best

practice guidelines from governing and advisory bodies such as OSHANIOSHDOT, and EPA.

Those who hire a crime scene cleanup company should make sure that they

are properly trained in applicable federal and state regulations and

can provide documentation of proper biohazardous waste disposal from

licensed medical waste transportation and disposal companies. If in California or

Florida the client should confirm that the company is registered with the state

Department of Health. A few states such as California, New York and

Florida are the only states that explicitly require registration or

licensing for crime scene cleanup. Other states may require biohazardous

waste transport permits from the DOT.

In the US, OSHA requires that exposure to blood-borne pathogens be

limited as much as possible due to the assumption that the blood and

biological material is infectious. Most actions taken to limit exposure

fall under cross-contamination protocols, which provide that certain

actions be taken to avoid further spreading the contamination throughout

otherwise clean areas. CTS De-con companies should have in place, an

exposure control plan before beginning work on any trauma scene. Under

employee safety and cross-contamination protocols, the following OSHA regulations may pertain to bioremediation.

  • OSHA29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(ii)- Initial Assessment of Work: Must assess work site for potential hazards to employee safety. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200, et seq.- Hazard Communication Protocol: Required to establish what chemicals are used and that they are properly labeled.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(i);29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(iii); 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1); and 29, CFR 1926.1053 – Work Practice & Engineering Controls and Safety: Having done the initial assessment, must determine damage, potential hazards, equipment needs, egresses, work routes, possible complicating factors, ladder/scaffolding safety protocols, availability for hand-washing/sanitization wipes.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1) – Method of Compliance: Ensure employees are following all OSHA-mandated engineering and work practice controls through proper supervision, written documentation and photographs.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(2) – Exposure Determination: Determine employee safety concerns due to exposure to biological materials.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1) – Hazard Signs and Labels: Hazardous areas must be demarcated; use of biohazard tape and establishment of zones separates and identifies hazardous areas.

In the UK, biohazards are regulated in part by HSE. Canada has published Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines.


The crime scene cleaners' work begins when the coroner's

office or other official, government body releases the "scene" to the

owner or other responsible parties. Only when the investigation has

completely terminated on the contaminated scene may the cleaning companies begin their task.

Standard operating procedures for the crime scene cleanup field often include military-like methods for the decontamination of internal and external environments. Universal precautions recognized worldwide are the cautionary rule-of-thumb for this field of professional cleaning.

Cleaning methods for removing and sanitizing biohazards vary from

practitioner to practitioner. Some organizations are working to create a

"Standard of Clean" such as ISSA's K12 Standard, Which includes use of

quantifiable testing methods such as ATP testing.


The first specialty trade organization for this field of cleaning was the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA). The largest association dedicated to the crime scene cleanup industry is the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association (NCSCA). Among other tasks, they organized cleanup procedures for Ebola decontamination in 2014.

Clean Trust (aka IICRC) is a certifying body for the cleaning trade in general. International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) is a global standards body and trade organization of professional janitorial and cleaning professionals.

In popular culture and the media

Crime scene cleanup as a profession has been featured sporadically in

popular culture and the media. It first showed up in films when Quentin Tarantinoproduced Curdled, then after an eleven-year hiatus in the Samuel L. Jackson film Cleaner, and more recently when Amy Adams and Emily Blunt teamed up for Sunshine Cleaning. On television it has been featured in a smattering of documentaries aired on the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel, as well as reality series such as Grim Sweepers.

In video games and visual media, crime scene cleanup takes center

focus as the main objective in the game, Viscera Cleanup Detail. Viscera Cleanup Detail is a PC game distributed through Steam that enables players to clean up blood and body remains after a Sci-Fi battle has occurred on a space station. Another example of crime scene cleanup in video games is Safeguard.

Safeguard takes a more realistic and educational approach, enabling

users to learn about the hazards of crime scene cleanup, as well as the

equipment and tools used. Safeguard also uses virtual reality to immerse users in the crime scene environment.

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