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Is Human Feces a Biohazard?

Is Human Feces A Biohazard?

When taking a walk, we all know not to touch any animal feces we come across but don’t think twice about cleaning up after our own pets. In the same way, we don’t hesitate to clean up after our family but wouldn’t touch any feces if we were cleaning up after a homeless camp or a trashed rental. So who would do that kind of cleaning and are feces a biohazard? Could you call a regular cleaning company or do you need to call a biohazard cleanup company to come take care of it?

Biohazards are any material that can possibly contain infectious diseases. For example, human feces can contain diseases such as C. diff, Hepatitis A and E, Giardia, E coli, Cholera, and Norovirus so, yes, human feces are a biohazard. These diseases can be dangerous and even fatal so it’s important to take the proper precautions when dealing with such material. While some regular cleaning companies are willing to clean minimal amounts of urine and feces, professional biohazard cleanup companies such as BioTeamAZ are specifically trained to safely and thoroughly clean up biohazards such as bodily fluids, urine, feces, viruses, and bacteria.

Human Feces Is A Biohazard, But Not A Regulated Medical Waste

Since human fecal matter is only classified as a biohazard and not medical waste, you can throw it away in the regular trash. However, if the poop contains blood, then it does become classified as medical waste and may not be thrown away in the regular trash. Whoever owns the property is legally liable for any damages or any illness resulting from improper cleanup and disposal of the poop. So your best bet is to call a professional to clean up the feces to ensure that the area is completely cleaned, decontaminated and sanitized.

It’s Not Advisable to Clean up the Human Feces Yourself

Because of all the potential biohazards that may be contained in poop, cleaning up after human feces can be dangerous work. It takes specific skills, equipment, and cleaners to make sure all feces have been removed, the area properly cleaned, and yourself protected through the whole process. If you are facing the task of cleaning up human feces in a homeless encampment, a trashed rental, a hoarded home, or after a sewage backup, hire a company trained in the proper procedures and leave it to them to complete the work. In such unsanitary conditions, the chances of the feces carrying various diseases are much higher than they otherwise would be – diseases with which you and your loved ones don’t want to come into contact. Once the feces are removed, a professional company will also have the equipment and skills needed to permanently eliminate any lingering odor. You will then have peace of mind the area is free of all biohazards and is now fresh and clean.

Don’t Rely On Regular Household Cleaning Products

When it comes to the cleaning products we can buy in a store, they are limited in the amount of bacteria and viruses they are able to kill. Professional cleaners opt instead for industrial grade chemicals that kill off a higher percentage of pathogens. Make sure that what you’re using is strong enough for what you’re using it for and follow all directions.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the cleanup of human feces or urine, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

The Warning Signs of Teen Suicide

Teen Suicide

Whenever we at Bio Team AZ are called to clean up after a suicide, especially a teen suicide, our hearts break for the victim and for their families and friends. Even while we do the work of cleaning, we hope that one day cleaning up after suicides is a service which will no longer be needed.

No matter who we are, most of us either know someone personally who has committed suicide or have heard of someone trying it. Here in Arizona, teens especially are at risk for suicide with 12.4 out of every 100,000 teens aged 15-19 years old committing suicide in 2018 and many times more attempting it. In fact, throughout Arizona, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-34. Each one of these people are someone’s child, brother, sister, cousin, and friend.

We at BioTeamAZ care about the teens in our community and the families we work with and are greatly concerned with the number of teenagers committing suicide throughout Arizona each day. As adults, we know that a fight with a friend, problems at home, or a breakup are passing things and that life does get better over time. When you’re a teenager, though, you don’t have as much experience with which to compare what you’re going through and each situation can feel overwhelming. Combined with other factors in a teen’s life such as substance abuse or mental health issues, and they can feel that life is bleak and be at risk for suicide without anyone realizing the danger.

Signs of a teen at risk for suicide

We hear so often to look for the classic signs of depression such as ongoing sadness in order to help those at risk for suicide. When it comes to depression in teenagers, though, the signs are a bit different and it’s important to remember what these different risks are when talking with the teens in our lives. Instead of sadness or crying, a teen may isolate themselves, lose interest in school, or become angry and aggressive. This loss of interest or anger among other signs are important to look for and respond to in an honest and open manner. Instead of treating these signs as something to be glossed over, we need to talk with the teens in our lives and help them find the assistance they need. Signs of a depressed teen at risk for suicide include:

  • feeling like a burden
  • being isolated
  • increased anxiety
  • feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • increased substance use
  • looking for a way to access lethal means
  • increased anger or rage
  • extreme mood swings
  • expressing hopelessness
  • sleeping too little or too much
  • talking or posting about wanting to die
  • making plans for suicide

If the teenagers in your life don’t feel comfortable talking with you about suicide, make sure they have other trusted adults in their lives whom they can go to when they need help or a listening ear. Family members, coaches, teachers, pastors, adult friends, or parents of their friends can all serve in this role and you can let them know this is something the teenager in your life is dealing with. When talking with your teenager, be frank about your concerns and be someone they feel safe talking to. Keep in mind that even if you don’t think the teen you know is at risk for suicide, they may be dealing with a friend’s suicide attempt or someone else they know dying. No matter what is going on, always keep the lines of communication open and get them the help they need if you see anything that alarms you. There was a recent article written in AZ Central on what Arizona is doing to prevent more teenage suicide.

If you know of someone at risk for suicide

If you know of someone at risk for suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741. Additional help can be found by contacting the Teen Lifeline at 602-248-8336 (TEEN) or statewide in Arizona at 800-248-8336 (TEEN).

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