Use of disinfectants while providing a death scene cleanup service

Premises where some crime or suicide was committed are considered high-risk areas. Therefore, it is important to properly take sanitary and hygienic measures in order to prevent hazardous bacteria from spreading and doing harm to people. Professional cleaning products and disinfectants play an important role when providing a death scene cleanup service.

Products for disinfecting surfaces which cleaners who provide death scene cleanup service are different in composition. The most important component of these disinfectants is the active substance, due to which pathogenic microflora dies. Active substances are divided into the following groups:

• Products containing alcohol. The most widely used spirits are ethanol, propyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. These types of spirits are part of many antiseptics that have bactericidal, fungicidal and selective antiviral properties. This is exactly what death scene cleanup service needs. The biggest advantage of these cleaning products is that they evaporate quickly and do not require rinsing. However,  one should remember that these disinfectants  can damage some types of plastic and rubber. It’s necessary to use them very carefully not to damage various surfaces or furniture.

•  Quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC). The widespread use of QAC-based disinfectants is due to the fact that they are not volatile, do not have strong odor, dissolve well in water, have detergent properties, are stable and do not damage disinfection objects. QAS have bactericidal, fungicidal properties. However, these products do not show sporicidal and anti-tuberculosis effects.

o Tertiary amines. Cleaners offering death scene cleanup service prefers this non-toxic component because it has a detergent effect. On the other hand, this disinfectant does not have a sporicidal effect and fixes dirt on the surface, which limits the efficiency of cleaning.

o Derivatives of guanidines. A feature of polymeric derivatives of guanidine is the ability to form a film on the treated surface, which determines the long-term residual (prolonged) antimicrobial effect of such agents, on the other hand, the ability to form a film on the surface makes it possible to fix organic contaminants (blood, saliva, etc.). For this reason, this kind of disinfectant does not suit  the cleaning companies which offer death scene cleanup service because the cleaners mainly take care of biological fluids like saliva, sperm or blood. 

Oxygen-active compounds are oxidizers – they release active oxygen, which ensures the elimination of microorganisms. The main representatives are hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid (PAA) and other peracids, sodium perborate and percarbonate. The most effective are peracids because they destroy the entire spectrum of pathogenic microflora. This property is very valuable for a death scene cleanup service.

Chlorine. This is a strong oxidizing agent which destroys the entire spectrum of pathogenic microflora. It has strong odor and damages some types of surfaces/ It is toxic and not stable.

Aldehydes. They also have a wide range of effects, including killing the fungal spores. Although these products do not damage surfaces, are very toxic and fix pollution on the surface.

Phenols. The most widely used are 2-phenoxyethanol and triclosan. Not all phenol derivatives have a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Organic pollution reduces the activity of phenol derivatives.

Sanitary and hygienic treatment with disinfectants in the premises of healthcare facilities is an indispensable part of any death scene cleanup service, however, the disinfectants should be used carefully taking into account all their properties.