The EPA just announced it has approved two Lysol spray disinfectants as effective against the COVID-19 virus (technically SARS-CoV-2). The announcement indicates the sprays will kill the virus when sprayed on hard surfaces that are not porous. (This excludes cloth surfaces, carpet, furniture, etc.).  According to the EPA – which lists over 400 products on its list as effective against what they term ‘harder to kill’ microorganisms, these two are the first to be tested against this particular virus and shown to be effective.  They are:

  • Lysol Disinfectant Spray
  • Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist

This video from ABC7 news shares the information:


But there is a catch – spray and wipe won’t do it.  Disinfecting is a different process than cleaning, and you need to use different techniques. We’re used to spraying and then immediately wiping when cleaning, but using that method for disinfecting simply wastes the product and does not disinfect.  (Most disinfectants need to remain wet on a surface for an extended period – usually about 2 or three minutes.)

With these Lysol sprays, it takes 2 minutes to be effective, which means that the surface sprayed needs to remain wet the the product for at least 2 minutes. We want to point out that use of these disinfectant sprays – as well as any other disinfectant product – will only achieve the desired results when the instructions on the label are followed. 

As a bio-hazard cleanup and remediation company, we understand the importance of reading and following label directions for any products we use, regardless of whether they are for cleaning or disinfecting.  If you have questions about COVID-19 approved cleaners and disinfectants and how to use them, we encourage you to visit the EPA website.

MedTech Cleaners is currently offering COVID-19 cleanup and disinfecting in a number of areas of the Pacific Northwest, specifically in the greater Spokane and Seattle areas, but we also have other locations in Idaho, Oregon, and Montana.  To find out if we cover your area, please callus at (877) 691-6706.  Our phone is answered 24/7. 



You might wonder with all the focus on food safety and recalls of contaminated foods as well as modern tools to control infection that at times there is an outbreak of a contagious disease.  There are a number of reasons for this, but often it’s because the organism itself has become resistant to disinfectants.  (Other times it’s because of a bacteria that has become antibiotic resistant, but that’s another topic.) This is something of great concern for our biohazard cleanup crews, because we endeavor to follow best practices to decontaminate places where the existence of a contagious organism might be present.  Disinfectants commonly used successfully against many viruses and bacteria sometimes will not be enough against particular organism.

Plain and simple, sometimes clean is not clean. Despite best efforts, certain bacteria and other infectious organisms can still survive and thrive to infect.  A good example of this is the norovirus.  And what makes this a major issue is that this virus is the most common cause of stomach distress such as vomiting and diarrhea.  Something (or someone) becomes infected with the norovirus because of contact with a substance that has been contaminated with fecal matter where the virus is present.  It can also come from direct contact with an infected individual, but more often than not it’s due to either ingesting food or water where the virus is present, or by touching a surface where it is present and then touching one’s mouth without washing the hands.

And believe it or not, many infection control experts believe that part of the cause of this is the overuse of disinfectants. Many people are aware of the rise of what’s referred to as ‘superbugs’ that are resistant to treatment by antibiotics, but there are also organisms such as viruses that can’t be successfully controlled by disinfectants that work well against most others. And even more problematic is that at times the transmission of an organism is due to contamination of the disinfectant itself.

Alcohols are used as common spot disinfectants, especially for surfaces. Alcohol solutions are also commonly used to store medical equipment following sterilization. But alcohols have been found to be ineffective against certain viruses, including the adenovirus (a common but unwelcome visitor to mucous membranes, airways, and more, including ‘pink eye’ or conjunctivitis).  The tips of instruments called tonometers, used to test the pressure in the eyeball, are often cleaned ineffectively with alcohol, and this practice can in fact cause the spread of an infection called keratoconjunctivitis.

There is also speculation that the over-use of hand sanitizers may be contributing to the rise of disinfectant-resistant microbes.  Many individual use this alcohol-based preparations in place of the recommended soap-and-water hand washing regimen, believing it to be safer. But in fact the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water whenever possible, and using a hand sanitizer only when that is not available.

Formaldehyde solutions are often used in medical settings and usually are effective against bacteria, fungi, spore-type organisms such as mold, and tuberculoids. However, there have been reports of outbreaks of infection due to klebsiella oxytoca.  Normally a healthy gut bacteria, it can cause infections in the body when it is present outside the intestinal area.  This bacteria is responsible for most infections acquired by hospitalized adults. Due to its resistance to most of the commonly-prescribed antibiotics, this bacteria may be pathogen whose threat has been underestimated.

Are these organisms mutating to resist disinfectants?  At present the question is up for debate. Some believe that user error is at the root of the problem, with the culprits being excessive dilution or storing improperly-cleaned materials in a disinfectant, which then contaminates it. One thing is extremely important in using disinfectants:  cleaning prior to their use.  Removal of proteins and biofilms on a surface must occur first.

As a company specializing in cleanup of infectious agents here in the Pacific Northwest, we endeavor to stay current on industry information such as this so that our biohazard cleanup and remediation technicians are using the best practices possible to reduce the spread of infection in areas we are responsible to clean.




The recent outbreak of typhus in the Los Angeles area has people concerned about the health threats of rodent infestation.  The rodents we’re talking about include mainly rats, mice, and squirrels.  (But the rodentia classification also includes chipmunks, beavers, porcupines, prairie dogs, and even guinea pigs.) For the purposes of this post we’re confining ourselves to the first three we named.

People are wise to be considered about the dangers posed by rodent infestation. In cold weather it’s especially important to be aware of the threats, because as the temps drop, these critters look for a warm and dry place, and they are notorious for being able to squeeze into very small areas.  A crack in a siding or a small pipe might be all they need to gain entrance to your home or office building.  The stereotypical ‘squirrels in the attic’ is so well known because it happens often.

Yes, rodents do bite; they gnaw and can cause physical damage, and they leave a mess, but it’s far worse than that.  As the typhus problem shows, they can also transmit bacterial and viral disease.

It is estimated that over 21 million rodents seek refuge in American homes each winter.

That’s a lot of mouse poop. And it’s those droppings they leave behind that pose the most health problems.  Rodent feces can carry harmful bacteria.  That’s why food inspectors are so fanatical about exterminating rats and mice in food establishments.  But you don’t have to eat food contaminated by rat droppings to be affected.  Once rodent droppings are dry, particles can become airborne, transmitting those bacteria.  This is a particular problem for those who may be allergic to rodent feces.

And it’s not just their droppings that pose a health threat; rodent urine and saliva can also carry viruses and other diseases. Some are transmitted via rodent bite. With typhus, the culprit is a flea that lives on rats’ bodies. It can also be transmitted via feces from a rat infected from bites of contaminated fleas. In total, they (or the fleas and mites that afflict them) are known to carry at least 35 diseases. The most common ones are:

  • Hantavirus – a life-threatening disease that can be transmitted by inhalation as well as physical contact with rodent bodily matter
  • Bubonic plague – Not just a thing of the Middle Ages, bubonic plague (also called ‘black death’) was diagnosed just a few years ago in Colorado
  • Salmonella
  • Rat-bite fever (potentially fatal)

Rodents are attracted to any place where there is sufficient shelter, heat, and food. Hoarder homes and houses occupied by squatters are often sites of rodent infestation, and they care common in homeless encampments.  (It is believed the LA typhus outbreak originated in a homeless camp near city hall, where the infected rats were first detected.) But they can show up just about anywhere.

Rats and mice are not just annoying – they can be a major health threat, not to be taken lightly.  If you suspect you have a rodent problem, we suggest first of all that you contact an exterminator to get rid of the pests. If your property is in our service area in the Pacific Northwest, we may be able to assist you with locating one. The next step is cleanup of feces and other contamination they’ve left behind.

Because of the dangers posed by contact with rodent droppings – or even inhaling dried matter – we urge you to contact a biohazard cleanup service company like ours to safely remove and dispose of the debris, then sanitize your property and return it to a safe condition.







As much of the Pacific Northwest is being hit with ice, snow, and temps down into the teens in many areas, many people wonder if biohazards like bacteria and germs are still a threat. After all, doesn’t the below-freezing temperature kill those germs?

The simple answer is, “No.”  While it’s true that certain microbes are inactivated by cold temperatures, many have adapted to survive and even thrive in temperatures below 32º.

Many health-threatening microorganisms are capable of existing in severe conditions, so long as they have moisture (which is in abundance right now) and a food source. Others simply go dormant (think hibernation) until the conditions improve. The warmer weather will ‘wake them up’ and they’ll get back to their nasty activity. The food service industry has learned this the hard way. Freezing food doesn’t kill any bacteria that might cause deterioration or food-borne illnesses; it simply delays them until they are reheated.

Even mold can’t be killed by freezing; it just gets temporarily deactivated. And with the moist climate we have, mold is definitely an issue.

Do not assume that cold temperatures equal dead germs.

This winter is somewhat unusual for our area, since we’ve fallen well below the average January and February low of 37º.  Tonight’s forecast is for 19º, with overnight temps below 30º for the rest of the week, so it looks like this cold spell is going to continue for at least a few days.  Even as far south as Portland they are experiencing weather like this.  So while we might expect some reduction of ACTIVE viruses and bacteria that aren’t cold-hardy, many others we deal with will still be around.

And that doesn’t even count the ones indoors that aren’t getting exposed to the below-freezing conditions.

In those cases, this cold weather can actually cause them to proliferate, because many people who would otherwise be outside (and that includes the homeless) are seeking refuge in warmer spots. Others have curtailed their outdoor activities in favor of indoor pursuits. And at this time of year that makes the conditions right for transmission of contagious diseases like the flu.  Just consider what the Seattle area is going through right now with the measles crisis.

So be safe this winter; take the precautions you normally would to avoid being contaminated by biohazards, and if you’ve got concerns, contact your local biohazard remediation company.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, that’s us.







A biohazard we’d like to discuss today is a common microbe: mold.  It might surprise many people to think that something that occurs often in homes (think old leftovers, stale bread) is considered a health threat.  But it is. And this time of year it’s especially prevalent. Buildings are closed up tightly and indoor humidity levels often make conditions ideal for mold development.

Mold is something we encounter often when cleaning up squatter and hoarder houses, but it can develop anywhere, even if your housekeeping skills are meticulous.  We want you to be aware first of the health threat mold can pose, as well as ways to limit its development.

The Basics: Mold 101

Mold needs three things to grow: sufficient moisture, heat, and a food source.  Mold thrives on anything organic. That could be the last slice of bread in the bag that got overlooked in a corner of your cupboard to a wool rug in your entryway.

Winter heat sources provide the temperature, and the moisture that gets trapped indoors from showers, humidifiers, and cooking gives it plenty of humidity to flourish.  (It’s more of a problem in the winter because windows and doors are kept closed, meaning there is no ventilation from the outside to dry things out.)

Where did the mold come from? Mold needs somewhere to start, seeds as it were. But in this case it’s spores. These dry mold organisms can be airborne. Or your dog might bring in a few stuck to its coat. Or perhaps you brought it in on your skin when you touched something that was contaminated.  Mold proliferates because those tiny spores are so hard to detect, and they can grow into a major problem before they are even spotted.

Can’t I just wipe it off? Yes, you can, and that will remove the surface mold. But it won’t get rid of what’s below the surface that you can’t see.  And sometimes cleanup efforts will disturb spores and send them airborne, causing them to land somewhere else and grow – or worse, get into your lungs.

Mold Is Toxic for Many People

It’s estimated that about 1 in 5 people has a mold sensitivity or allergy, and the effects run from mild to severe.  Some of the more well-known symptoms include:

  • ‘Brain fog’
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Autoimmune system problems (including things like arthritis)
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory distress
  • Hives and skin rashes
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Hair loss

Mold Remediation Is a Job for a Specialist

Getting rid of mold requires a lot more than spray bleach.  It’s much easier to prevent mold formation than to remove it.

If you’re concerned about mold getting a foothold in your home this winter, the best thing you can do is to keep things dry.  Entryways where wet shoes and boots pile up is one of the most common spots. Synthetic drainage mats are much better solutions than rugs made from natural materials. Seal up any areas where water leaks, and wipe up condensation when it forms on window sills and other areas. And watch the humidity level in your home – don’t run that humidifier more than necessary, and keep the bath fan running for awhile after your shower.  (When the mirror has no condensation, you can probably turn it off.)

If your property shows signs of mold development, it’s best to contact a biohazard cleanup company like ours to take over.  DIY cleanup efforts can often make things worse, not better.







In this post we’ll cover a topic they probably don’t handle in an MBA program: safe blood cleanup.  While you as a business owner may be adept at managing your company, this is an area you should know at least a little something about, because sooner or later an unexpected death or crime at your place of business may result in spilling of blood or other bodily fluids.  Knowing how to safely handle the situation is extremely important, because bodily fluids are classed as biohazards, meaning they can be a threat to life.

All business owners should have a plan for dealing with cleanup of biohazards in situations such as a crime, suicide, or sudden death.  That’s a good place to start.

But having a plan and actually implementing it can be two very different things.  It’s difficult to prepare for the unexpected, especially when it is traumatic.  The shock of a trauma often makes it difficult to focus or quickly make decisions, but having some information on where to start with safe blood cleanup can help.  In most cases, your best option is to contact a biohazard remediation and cleanup company such as ours to take over.

  • Safety of your employees and the general public should be your primary goal.

There are legal requirements for the safe cleanup and disposal of blood and other biohazards. Most people aren’t trained in how to handle it, and general household cleaning products won’t take care of the health threat.

  • Unless you know the procedures for safe cleanup of blood, we suggest you don’t attempt it.  You could actually make the situation worse. There are a number of dangerous pathogens (disease-causing microbes) that blood can carry.  And those pathogens can become airborne when blood is disturbed.  Dried blood can ‘mist’ and carry bacteria and other infectious microbes into the air, depositing them in areas removed from the blood spill.  You and those around you could inhale those particles as well.  Should those particles get into an air handling system, they can be dispersed throughout the building. 
  • Blood can seep into anything porous – textiles like carpets and draperies, furniture, and even wood and wall finishes like paint and wallpaper.  It can get into gaps between components as well as trim.
  • Over time, blood-borne pathogens will become harmless, but the odors of blood left behind can attract rodents and insects, and they often transmit other infectious diseases.
  • Do not ask an employee to tackle the task, unless that worker has been trained in safe cleanup and disposal of biohazards.  You’re risking that employee’s health as well as opening up your company to legal action.
  • Rapid, effective cleanup of blood is extremely important, regardless of whether the cause was crime, suicide, or even a death from natural causes.  Bacteria and other infectious and dangerous microorganisms can spread quickly, and speedy cleanup is essential in containment.  We understand that and are available 24/7, every day of the year. 

MedTech offers blood and other biohazard cleanup in Washington state as well as some surrounding Pacific Northwest areas.  If you have a blood spill at your place of business, contact us immediately at (877) 691-6706.  We have a quick response time and a reputation for safe and discrete cleanup.






As the weather gets colder, often the calls our professional biohazard and trauma cleanup and restoration company gets become more frequent and urgent.  Certain biohazards tend to proliferate in the winter. There are a number of reasons for this.

  • Homeless encampments are a major problem here in this part of the Pacific Northwest, and as the temperatures drop, communities are closing down outdoor homeless dwellings in an attempt to move these people into warm shelters. Once the residents have been removed (sadly, it is often forcibly), those homeless camps must be cleaned up. Homeless encampments are almost always contaminated with a variety of biohazards as well as safety issues.  And sometimes there is property that must be restored due to damage.
  • Transmission of certain bacteria and viruses rises in cold weather, as people are more often indoors in confined spaces and exposed to airborne threats, such as cold and flu viruses.  Surprisingly, most childhood diseases can be spread through the air. These include measles, mumps, chicken pox, and pertussis (whooping cough). At milder times of the year, windows may be open, providing ventilation that can dissipate germs. But in winter buildings are closed up, and modern construction has created spaces that are almost air-tight, meaning ventilation with fresh outside air is unlikely.
  • Being in closer contact due to spending more time indoors also facilitates the spread of contact-transmitted infections organisms, such as those that cause cold sores.  Certain pathogens are easily spread by contact with a surface such as a door knob or water faucet handle.
  • Cold temperature itself may be a culprit. Many scientists believe that the stress put upon the body to cope with the cold can impede the immune system via stress.
  • Or it could be the furnace. Forced-air furnaces may make homes and offices more comfortable, but they also facilitate the spread of airborne microorganisms like viruses and bacteria.
  • Seasonal stress can cause a rise in suicide as well as natural deaths, which when unattended may result in blood and other bodily fluids being spilled, requiring professional biohazard cleanup.

While you probably can’t prevent unexpected deaths and trauma at any time of the year – especially in winter – you can do your part to cut down on cold and flu germ transmission in your home as well as the public spaces you are in but following some simple hygiene practices.

MedTech Cleaners is a Spokane-based biohazard and trauma cleanup and restoration company. We’re here to help, 24/7, no matter the season.  








You’re probably familiar with the hazards of having your property contaminated by the HIV virus via blood, needles, or other possible sources, but there’s another very deadly virus currently making the news that isn’t so familiar: the hantavirus. Just yesterday several news outlets reported on the death of a North Dakota woman from hantavirus.

What is the hantavirus?  Actually it is an umbrella term for a number of similar viruses that can be deadly. Acute respiratory failure can result.  First detected in 1993 in the southwest U.S., it has claimed the life of over 700 individuals. Almost all of the cases have been in areas west of the Mississippi River. Over one-fourth of those have been in the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Generally the virus is carried by an otherwise healthy rodent such as a rat.  The virus can be transmitted by contact with bodily fluids from rodents (feces, urine, or saliva).  What is especially concerning is that the virus can become airborne when these fluids are disturbed by cleanup actions like vacuuming or sweeping. Simply inhaling dust could lead to a severe respiratory infection called Pulmonary Hantavirus Syndrome. This afflicts anyone – even otherwise healthy individuals.

That’s why it is critical to have a professional biohazard cleanup company like ours come in and deal with property that has been infested by rodents. For your own safety, you MUST assume those rodents were carrying the hantavirus.

What can you do?  If there were or are rodents around your home or other property, we highly advise you seek medical testing to determine whether you’ve contracted the hantavirus. Next, contact a biohazard cleanup professional to have your property decontaminated properly.

Rodents in your Pacific Northwest property?  Contact our team of trained biohazard cleanup professionals today through our online form.  Call us at (877) 684-9753.  Our phones are manned 24/7.






One of our most important services is biohazard cleanup.  Biohazards often are present in other types of situations, such as crime scene or unattended death cleanup.  They’re not uncommon when we come in to deal with a home that’s been occupied by a hoarder.  More than just a messy job, biohazard cleanup can be a dangerous process if not done properly.  To understand why, it may be helpful to get a grasp on what a biohazard is.

Universal symbol for biohazard

What Is a Biohazard?

‘Biohazard’ is short for biological hazard.  Simply put, a biohazard is a biological substance (plant, animal, virus, bacteria or other living or once-living substance) that presents a health threat. The most common types are bodily fluids – blood, feces, saliva, urine, vomit. All these fluids might carry a toxic or health-threatening substance.

Now, you might wonder how these could be toxic.  After all, a parent deals with these fluids on a daily basis without a problem.  Yes, every time a mom or dad changes a dirty diaper, they’re confronting a biohazard.  But unless the child is infected with HIV or hepatitis or another dangerous bacteria or virus, the threat is minimal or nonexistent. But you’re probably aware that in hospitals and other public settings human waste is handled and disposed of very carefully because of potential health threats.

Here are some examples of common biohazards:

  • Medical waste
  • Human or animal bodily fluids (blood, saliva, semen, cerebrospinal fluids, vaginal fluids, and even amniotic fluid
  • Pathological waste (lab testing materials, biopsy samples, dissected tissue)
  • Human and animal waste (everything from decomposing body to excretory waste)
  • Medical ‘sharps’ – needles and sharp implements, including discarded drug needles
  • Bacteria, fungi, and viruses – including mold (especially black mold)
  • Parasites

There is some disagreement in the industry as to whether common ordinary mold (other than black mold) should be considered a biohazard, but as it is often accompanied by another type of biohazard such decomposing substances, we elect to handle it as if it is toxic and dangerous.  In fact, for those who have mold sensitivities or allergies, it IS a health threat.

Biohazards don’t all pose the same level of threat to human health or safety or to the environment.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classifies biohazards in four levels:

  • Level 1:  Minimal threat. The e. coli bacteria is an example of a Level 1 biohazard.  You might get some unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects but rarely is it a life-threatening situation. Most molds are Level 1. Biohazards of these types can usually be handled without professional assistance.
  • Level 2: Can cause severe illness. Level 2 biohazards include salmonella, HIV and hepatitis, as well as some molds.  Level 1 and Level 2 require direct contact.
  • Level 3: If airborne, can cause a major health threat if inhaled. Level 3 pathogens include tuberculosis. This level is more dangerous than Level 1 or 2 substances because direct contact is not required – airborne substances can be inhaled without the victim having knowledge of their existence.
  • Level 4: Substances pose a severe threat to health.  Usually there is no known treatment or antidote for these substances, which include the Ebola virus.

When biohazards are present, proper steps must be taken to safely remove them, clean up the area, and properly dispose of the substance as well as remediating any threats. Our cleanup crews are trained in the safe and proper methods to remove and dispose of biohazards, particularly the ones which pose severe threats to health and safety, such as Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4.  And our staff is professional and discreet.  You can count on us to restore your property to a safe condition when biohazards are present. 





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