The Biohazard Report April 2017
Hidden spaces pose potential dangers
Bird and bat waste is more than an unsightly mess. It’s a potential health hazard that requires professional remediation.
Vacant buildings, church steeples and attics are all susceptible to roosts, and can go years without a visual inspection. By the time the problem is discovered, the guano can literally get knee-deep.
Bat guano can cause histoplasmosis, an infectious disease caused by inhaling the spores of the histoplasmosis capsulation fungus. The fungus can be disturbed during “amateur” cleanup and infect those without proper respiratory protection equipment. Airborne spores stirred up during cleaning can also spread throughout a building’s ventilation system if proper precautions aren’t taken.
In addition to histoplasmosis, pigeon droppings also carry the threat of cryptococcosis, which similarly is contracted by inhalation of spores from contaminated feces. The fungus is found in more than 80 percent of old roosts, and poses a safety hazard even when old and dried.
Both afflictions generally manifest in temporary flu-like symptoms, but in patients with lowered immune systems or lung disease it can prove very serious and even fatal.
Bio-One approaches each job with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed under OSHA guidelines. All physical waste is removed with specialized tools and HEPA-filtered vacuums to be double-bagged for transportation and regulated disposal.
Any insulation that has come into contact with the guano is considered a biohazard and needs to be removed. All affected surface areas then need to be chemically treated for safety.