If you are going to attempt to clean up sewage your self, you may want to understand the diseases that may be included in the sewage.. Diseases such as Allergic Alveolitis, Weil’s disease, Hepatitis, Occupational Asthma, Gastroenteritis and AIDS maybe found in any sewage situation including the one you see right now.
These diseases will create serious health issues and possibly death. Unless you have OSHA blood borne pathogen training and have the correct personal protective clothing required under the OSHA blood borne pathogen rule, it may not be advisable to clean up the sewage yourself. You may want to contact an IICRC certified professional to clean up the sewage damage areas and protect your family and your health.
Correct personal protective clothing, otherwise known as PPE clothing does not guarantee that wearing PPE will prevent catching any diseases. But a trained person wearing PPE will have a low possibility of contacting any diseases. The following are examples of PPE’s:
1. Eye and face protection- It is recommended that a 95 Niosh organic filter respirator with a full face protection mask be used. The mask needs to be fitted by a registered professional or the mask can not be guaranteed to protect the individual wearing it.
2. Body protection- A tyvek uniform should be worn to separate any possibility of sewage getting on clothes while removing the sewage clean up and sewage damage. Tyvek a brand name of disposable protective uniform that is popular among sewage clean up professionals. While wearing the uniform, it will protect to some degree, but will not be 100% guaranteed protection as the uniform can rip if not careful. The Tyvek uniform should also have a hood to protect any over spraying while working.
3. Feet and hand protection- Rubber boots up to the knee that is puncture resistant. The boots should have steel protection due to the fact that walking into sewage effected areas may have unknown hazards. Your hands should be protected by a puncture resistant glove that reaches beyond your elbows. Hepatitis B and other hepatitis shots should be taken prior to attempting any sewage clean up project.
OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen Rules: required clothing is essential in protecting anyone dealing with sewage clean up situations. Many individuals assume that they don’t need the protective equipment because they know the individuals in the home where the sewage damage was created. Assuming this concept has sadly infected many people who have cleaned up their own sewer back up situations.
If you attempt to perform the cleaning of the sewage damage yourself please beware the above advice does not guarantee your safety or health in any way. It is suggested that an OSHA certified blood borne pathogen trained company perform the sewage clean up. Remember to always check there certifications if hiring a company.