5) Action Plan
Please review the top ten recommendations for Property Managers and Insurance Adjusters that offer ways to mitigate the property damage caused by trauma scenes and response mechanisms needed when facing the remediation of the scene. From client counceling to semi-gloss paint, these guidelines offer approach options for property professionals and adjusters when facing the challenges of a traumatic event.
The oleoresin capsicum you mention is pepper spray. In our trauma response projects, we have encountered pepper spray and several versions of tear gas. The two types of tear gas, CS and CN, along with pepper spray, are products that painfully irritate the eyes and induce temporary blindness. These affects are used to subdue or manage those involved in traumatic events such as SWAT response and crowd disbursement.
Once we are contracted to remediate structures affected by these chemical irritants, the first step is to introduce neutralizing chemicals to calm the effects of the chemical irritant in order to begin remediation. We distribute the neutralizing chemicals via chemical foggers throughout the structure and in the ventilation system. When the residual chemical irritant dust is neutralized, we set up HEPA-filtered air scrubbers throughout the structure to recover the dust and begin purifying the air.
We then begin to manipulate the contents of the affected structure. This causes the chemical irritant dust that was out of reach from the initial neutralizer fogging to become airborne again and it may settle onto the clothing, hair, and any exposed skin of those trying to remediate the environment. So, additional applications of neutralizer are needed throughout the process. Chemical extractors are used on surfaces and the carpet. These extractors shoot neutralizer and recover affected residue in one step.
The recovered residue resides in a collection tank. Sometimes the residue it too concentrated in the carpet and it must be removed. These chemical irritants settle as a reactive dust that may concentrate in the carpet fibers. The projectiles used to introduce the chemical irritant sometimes penetrate the sheetrock and the dust is concentrated in the wall cavity. We have to open the wall and recover the chemical irritant dust. Personal items that are salvageable are cleaned by hand with the neutralizer.
The lasting affect to human health, at the very least, if the chemical agent remains in the dwelling would be chronic irritation to the eyes, respiratory system, and exposed skin. This would be even more apparent with those who suffer allergies, depressed immune systems, and children. The chemical agent used most by first responders is CS tear gas, Chlorobenzylidene malononitrile.
This chemical irritant is less toxic that predecessor chemicals used in its place. That being said, Iím sure the lasting chronic detrimental health effects have yet to be fully documented. Treatment and Removal of Tear Gas Residue Tear Gas is a chemical substance that irritates the eyes and mucous membranes with the primary physical effect manifesting in coughing and choking. Tear Gas is used in a variety of ways such as riot control and to force the surrender of fugitives confined to a structure.
The two main types of Tear Gas are CN and CS. CN, chloroacetophenone, comes in various forms. Remediation Services We will chemically treat this tear gas powder to neutralize its reactive effects and can remove the residue to restore the use of the environment. The proprietary chemicals used in this process are non-toxic, Hypo-allergenic, and have a neutral scent. History First discovered in Germany in the 1860ís, CN Tear Gas has been combined with benzene and carbon tetrachloride to produce CNB. CNC adds chloroform. Vomiting and lung damage is caused by a variant of CN Tear Gas that adds chloropicrin.
This variant, CNS, was used during World War I (1914-1918). The majority of the Tear Gas utilized by the authorities is less toxic substance than its predecessors (1). Chlorobenzylidene malononitrile, CS, was first produced during the 1920ís. This less-toxic version of Tear Gas still produces the tearing, coughing, dizziness, and nausea but it washes off more easily than CN Tear Gas. Tear Gas Response CN Tear Gas is still used primarily inside structures. Authorities have come under scrutiny for the use of Tear Gas due to the unpredictable outcomes of delivery systems. Examples of injury and death have been cited in criticisms of Tear Gas response. Projectile delivery systems encase Tear Gas in a round that is fired and eventually deteriorates to release the substance. High concentrations of Tear Gas may cause permanent injury and possibly death.
USA Decon is a multi-city biological contamination, infection control, tear gas, gross filth, and methamphetamine residue emergency response remediation company. Our service is delivered through branch offices that respond from the major metropolitan areas in Texas and nation-wide either first-hand or through other similar companies that we work with. USA Decon’s development was through legacy companies that stretch back to 1999. The legacy companies that eventually coalesced into USA Decon provided remediation in other areas such as mold and other environmental contaminants.
USA Decon was formed with the primary mission of response to biological issues and trauma related remediation services.
1. What sort of certification/training is required to do your job? At a minimum, for someone to work around Bloodborne pathogens there are training and certification requirements that are directly related to this type of contamination. The environments that we work in also include confined spaces and an array of exotic chemicals. These inputs require OSHA training for our technicians. Our trauma scene decontamination technicians are compliant with the Engineering, Work Practice, and Administrative Controls required to perform this type of work.
We are in compliance with Engineering Controls such as Personal Protective Equipment (OSHA 1910.132), Bloodborne Pathogens (OSHA 1910.1030), and Respiratory Protection (OSHA 1910.134). In addition to the Engineering Controls, our trauma scene decontamination technicians are experts in Work Practice Controls such as Confined Space (OSHA 1910.146) and Hazard Communication (OSHA 1910.1200). We adhere to Administrative Controls, such as scheduling due to safety concerns, on a project-to-project basis.
In order to collect the contamination, you frequently have to remove material from a structure. You need to know how to peel back these layers of flooring, walls, and ceiling without creating a safety hazard by affecting the structural supports.
These types of scenes, natural death human decomposition, are on average 1-4 per week across our service areas.
We are contacted by, including but not limited to, family members, property management companies, hotels, funeral homes, etc. Once upon arrival to the scene, we assess what the extent of the contamination is and develop a site-specific plan of action to address the hazards. We go over this plan, as well as pricing, with the contracting party. This of course can be with a property owner or a family member. So, sensitivity and discretion could not be more important. There are ways to explain what we need to do without using terminology such as maggots, blood pools, and spray from the body popping due to compressed gas inside the body cavity due to decomposition.
You may be speaking to a mother of the deceased. This is a difficult component of the response to the scene. Every syllable must be measured. We recover the contamination and restore the environment in order for third-party contractors and/or property owners to perform the aesthetic finishing tasks. USA Decon uses hospital-grade disinfectants and exotic non-toxic chemicals to remove the inherent infection and odor. Once finished, third parties may be introduced in a comfortable and safe environment.
We have had to hand over a scene to another company due to cyanide contamination. They, the other company, specialized in hazardous chemical removal. Scenes have been assigned to other companies due to scheduling conflicts. We were unable to respond because we were working on another priority scene.
We did not deal with the front-end customer on that scene. We have never had to hand off a biologically contaminated scene due to increased scope.
Not only would a family member untrained to respond to these hazards expose themselves to potentially fatal conditions, but also the emotional toll this would take on them would be enormous.
Frequently, we see marks of contamination on other areas of the structure were working in that was affected during the removal of the body by the first responders. You may see horizontal marks of body fluid from the body bag touching walls, furniture, or other items down the path of removal. Light switches and door handles are usually directly affected and left unclean once the body is removed. The primary focus of the first responder is to remove the body and recognizable body parts. They, the first responders, are not responsible for fluid or tissue.
The body is always removed when we begin. We do find recognizable body parts quite often.
When cleaning a crime/trauma scene, the waste associated with a human decomposition, suicide, homicide, or accident falls under RCRA Subtitle C. Once we recover the waste, we are considered the generator under the regulations. A third-party transportation and disposal company picks up this waste (this article was before USA Decon had a transporter license) from our facility and provides us with a manifest, a RCRA requirement, which tracks the life-cycle of the waste to its ultimate incineration and disposal in a special landfill.
Biological contamination can overwhelm your senses. Blood and body fluids are very difficult to deal with visually, physically due to the increased personal protective equipment required, and the odor. The most difficult type of contamination to work with is feces. That speaks for itself.
There are not many jobs in which you can provide unimaginable relief for someone. Regardless if someone is emotionally attached to a scene, the environmental condition that human decomposition harbors is insurmountable to most. In this job, you are able to address these issues and provide relief to someone who could not imagine dealing with it themselves. You can restore a contaminated environment that others cant. The difficulty associated with working on these scenes poses a hurdle that require a refined skill set that few people have. That is job security.
Should your family or business interest meet a challenge that involves the potential of the spread of infection, you need a compliant professional with the capability and experience to resolve the issue. Not only are we on the response plans of organizations should this happen, we have institution-wide infection contol experience from when they experieced an outbreak.
Our processes will combat this biohazardous affected environment with EPA approved disinfectants and deodorizers and cutting edge equipment. You can be confident that the hoarding issue will be handled with the sensitivity and professional capability required to restore the environment.
Once the biohazard remediation is completed, you will be able to restore the use of your home or business. The regulated waste recovered from the decomposition affected environment will be disposed of through a compliant third party who will provide industry recognized “cradle to grave” documentation.
USA Decon trauma scene decontamination technicians are compliant with the OSHA Engineering, Work Practice, and Administrative Controls required to perform this type of work. We are bonded, carry over and above the insurance required, and have over a decade of experience cleaning death scenes.
Do you own a rent house, apartment, or hotel where someone operated a clandestine methamphetamine lab? We can test your structure, give you 3rd-party lab results of contamination, and decontaminate the residual residue from the operation of the meth lab.
Conventional biohazard medical waste producers such as doctors, dentists, coroners, urgent care and hospitals, surgical centers, and allergy clinics can now start saving money on low cost, no contract TCEQ regulated waste disposal. Request a quote now.
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