Our teams at BC HAZMAT Management are trained to deal with, control, neutralize and clear many hazards such as hydro carbons, chemical and biological leaks and releases. Fentanyl, and now Carfentanil, have added serious safety issues not just for the public but for every responder. How fair is it that a paramedic, firefighter or police officer rushing in to help someone in distress has to put themselves in harm’s way due to these drugs. Then there is staff such as ours , who although trained and equipped, are still at serious risk when “dealing with” these chemicals.
Our teams get called out more and more these days to clean up everything from human feces on properties,(due to the risk of contamination), or the dwelling of someone who’s overdosed, or a situation where someone was using a house or apartment to cut other drugs with fentanyl or carfentanil. These dwellings used to mix fentanyl with other drugs are exposing so many to the very serious dangers of coming in contact. Several houses and apartments we have “cleared” have been home to small children. We see their artwork on the fridge next to the kitchen counter where the drugs are being cut. Our teams have to throw out the toys due to possible contamination. Children’s bedrooms are often right next to a room where the drug is being stored.
What about those totally unaware neighbors and their families. When we “clean” a dwelling we’ll often use air-moving equipment that completely filters any air before it leaves the premises. Does that happen while the illegal activity is going on… I don’t think so. Could the extremely dangerous dust get through air vents, into hallways or onto handrails? Of course, it could. Could an item like a piece of furniture perhaps moved outside, contain the deadly drug residue in a seam? This is why our teams not only do painstakingly detailed clearing work with appropriate chemicals and vacuums but they will also deem many materials no longer suitable and have them destroyed. Sometimes even walls and ceilings must come down.
With Carfentanil now showing up, BC Hazmat Management President and Senior technician, Dave Rogers, held a briefing recently to specially go over the companies updated Opioid Exposure Plan. The company is raising the minimum level of exposure suits and breathing apparatus required to enter and clear any suspected fentanyl related occurrences. Even with the companies investment in high-level personal protection equipment (PPE), training and backup naloxone kits, the risk is still real. “Every time we do one of these jobs (fentanyl recovery & cleaning) safety of my team is Number One. Why anyone would expose the public to stuff is beyond me,” Dave Rogers, President BC Hazmat Management.
If you have any suspicion that illegal drugs (fentanyl) are being used anywhere you live or work (especially important for cleaning and property management companies) please call in the experts to at least investigate. The risk is just too great.
Here are some story links that will help re-enforce the idea of how dangerous these drugs are:
Our Briefing Gallery:
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BC Hazmat Management