Interior Car Odors

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Perhaps not, but covers send a message regardless. I see a book cover with a knife dripping blood on it. I get the message that it’s going to be a violent story. Our clothes are “covers” that make particular statements. I see a woman in Louboutin shoes, and I assume she’s wealthy. She may not be, but that’s the message. Our cars “wrapped around us” as we move through this world make statements also. Whether it’s new or old, high-end or junker, even the color can be an extension of ourselves. So what statement are you making when you invite a passenger into your car and he just about chokes. Or maybe he’s one of those “tell it like it is” types and says, “Did something die in here?” Odors are usually more obvious to others, but, really, you’ve noticed it yourself, haven’t you? So what’s smelling up your car?

Cigarette Smoke

So you don’t smoke, but there was that one time that you let a particularly distraught friend light up. Amazingly, that’s all it takes—one time. Cigarette smoke gets everywhere, into the air vents, into fibers. And it lingers. And lingers. And lingers.

Now, if you or a passenger has smoked something else (not saying what—we’ll keep that between the two of us), that smell also lingers. Some people liken it to skunk! An additional problem with that “scent” comes about if you get stopped for, say, a traffic violation. The police are well acquainted with it, and you could end up in worse trouble than you were before for rolling through a stop sign.

Trash and Leftover Food

You don’t have French fries strewn around your living room. Or fast food wrappers scattered about. So why have them in your car? When those smells get old, they are far from appetizing.

I’m including spills here also. They’re somewhere in between trash and leftovers, I suppose. Coffee, for instance, smells so good when it’s fresh and hot. And so putrid when it’s old and sunk into the carpet or upholstery. “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” You will want to if a potential employer or your dream girl gets into your car. It’s a terribly sour smell—stomach turning to many.

Mold

Water can get into the interior of your car through a window opened even a crack in a heavy rainstorm, a poorly fitted door or sun roof, trunk lid or hatch back. Water provides a perfect breeding ground for mold. What you may smell is MVOC (mold volatile organic compound) gases produced by some species of mold, and it’s obnoxious. The smell may stay around even after the actual mold has been removed, because the gases are in the seats, carpeting and headliner—even if those items were never wet and moldy.

Mold is more than an unpleasant odor for some people. For your passengers who have respiratory problems, compromised immune systems or similar issues, for the elderly and infants, exposure to high levels of MVOC gases can pose serious health risks.

Dirty Clothes

If you were at one point on your way to the laundromat, please get there and get those clothes out of your car. Or maybe you like to have your gym bag handy—for whenever the mood strikes. Not a good idea to keep it in your car. If you are an athlete, do you remember how your high school locker smelled? If you are not an athlete, even worse when you got whiffs of them as you walked by.

Furry Creatures

Mice love cars. They’re dry and safe and comfy. The glove compartment is a particularly valuable piece of mouse real estate. But they can make themselves at home nearly anywhere: HVAC ducts, door panels, under the seats, in the trunk. Once you’ve smelled rodent, you’ll know it forever, especially if they die there and decompose. Oh, boy! And like other odors discussed here, you can remove the source, in this case the rodent (dead or alive) and the odor remains.

Call The Odor Guys

Put your best self forward. It doesn’t matter if your car is new or old, tricked out or junked up, a clean-smelling, and clean, car will make a powerful positive message about you. Besides that, if you have people that you drive around, it’s the considerate thing to do.

We have the equipment and experience to remove these odors from your vehicle. Give us a call at 207-839-9111 or drop us an email.

 

Chameleon Chemical Detection Armbands Now Available from BioSpecialists

Safety, both for first responders and the general public, is always top priority for us at BioSpecialists. With that in mind, we are happy to announce that Chameleon chemical detection armbands are now available from BioSpecialists. Chameleon armbands, from Morphix Technologies, are the most innovative, easy-to-use toxic chemical detection kit on the market, and we are proud to offer them for sale.

The Chameleon armband easily attaches to the forearm, even fitting over gear. This allows for hands-free chemical detection, with no liquid samples needed. While using the Chameleon, a first responder will be able to tell if there are harmful chemicals or vapors present at any potentially hazardous scene. If the cassette in the arm band changes color, he or she will know that there are toxins present, and to act accordingly.

The Chameleon can be used in a variety of situations, including suspected chemical suicides or meth labs. There are a number of kits available, with the Haz-Mat kit containing the greatest number of cassettes. Download the PDF to see more.

What you can’t see can hurt you! Equip your team today! Kits are available starting at $55 plus shipping. For more information, please contact us at BioSpecialists. 866-331-7731 or wyork@bio-specialists.com.

 

BioSpecialists Supports the Yellow Dot Program

CFAA-YellowDotRecently, Ted Hatch of the Gorham Police Department told us about the Yellow Dot Program. Here at BioSpecialists, we really wanted to help get the word out about this helpful and important program.

The national program is the first of its kind here in Maine, and is free to participate in. It is designed to help first responders at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, giving them access to detailed medical and emergency contact information about the occupants of the motor vehicle.  This kind of information can be crucial, as many times car accident victims are unable to communicate for themselves.

Participants of the program receive a Yellow Dot decal, a Yellow Dot folder and an information form with the participant’s name, an identifying photo, emergency contact information, personal physicians’ information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and medications being used. The decal, placed in the car window, alerts the first responders to look for the information folder in the glove compartment.

The program is free and open to people of all ages, though there is an emphasis on senior citizens. For more information, and to register, look for the yellow dot icon on our website, or go to yellowdotme.org.

 

BioSpecialists to Provide Biological Hazards Cleanup for FAA Northeast Locations

BioSpecialists is very pleased to announce  that we will be the exclusive provider of biohazardous materials cleanup for several airport locations in the Northeast. The areas covered are those that are in FAA control and include the airports and equipment locations in Biddeford, Cumberland, Brunswick, Kennebunk, Wiscasset, Fryeburg, Auburn/Lewiston, Freeport, Scarborough, as well as the Portland tower, flight lines and FAA buildings, all in Maine. It will also cover White Field in New Hampshire.

BioSpecialists will be involved on a case-by-case basis, to remediate the scene, making sure there was no spread of bloodborne pathogens anytime there was a potential for biohazardous contamination in one of these areas.

The most significant risk at a trauma scene is from contact with blood and bodily fluids. Since 1991 health and medical care officials have recognized the danger of contact with bloodborne pathogens which may be contained in any spill of blood and body fluid.

Bill York, President and CEO, notes that the FAA has taken a very proactive step in partnering with BioSpecialists. “We are pleased that the FAA is thinking ahead and getting ready to respond to dangerous situations involving biohazardous materials. We are very excited about working with them, and helping to keep the public safe.”

BioSpecialists Speaks to WMTW on Meth Problem in Maine

Last week, WMTW Channel 8 did a story on meth labs here in Maine. The focus was on the fact that now home labs are becoming less common, as usage of the “one pot” method grows. With this method, people can make meth in small containers, such as soda bottles, making it easier to contain and throw away evidence.

Bill York of BioSpecialists was interviewed for the story. He commented on the fact that this method makes it much harder for the police to catch suspects. It also is very dangerous, as meth could be being made almost anywhere. And even a microscopic amount of residue could be toxic to anyone exposed to it.

Professional remediation of a meth site is critical to public safety. BioSpecialists is properly trained in meth clean up, and is the most experienced in the industry.

Read the full story from WMTW here.

BioSpecialists Again Makes the Bangor Daily News

Recently, the Bangor Daily News published an article on the growing problem of meth in Maine. BioSpecialists was featured in the article, as we took place in a meth lab remediation training over the weekend.

Meth is an extremely dangerous drug, and the production of it creates a toxic byproduct that will cover the surrounding area. Exposure to the tiniest amount can create serious health problems, so it is imperative that the cleanup of a meth lab is handled by trained professionals.

BioSpecialists is now the only company in Maine that is properly trained and ready for meth remediation. We are pleased to do our part in helping with the scary problem of meth.

Read the entire Bangor Daily News article here.

BioSpecialists Featured in the Bangor Daily News

Here at BioSpecialists, we were excited to be interviewed recently by the Bangor Daily News. The article describes with some detail some of the more difficult parts of our day, and includes a video featuring our own Rob Simmons.

We know that many people aren’t even aware that death or trauma scene clean up is an actual service out there, and we are happy to get the word out. We hope that you don’t ever require our services, but if you do, we want you to know that we are the most qualified, experienced, and compassionate.

Read the full article here, and learn more about us.

You Decide Who To Hire, Not The Insurance Company

Recently BioSpecialists got a call to do a death scene cleanup. We made arrangements to go, but before we could get there the victim’s family called us. It seems that the homeowner’s insurance company had told the family not to work with BioSpecialists, as we were not on their list of preferred companies and have never worked with them before. The company they wanted the family to use was not really in the biohazard cleanup business, in fact they were not licensed or permitted to even do this type of work. The insurance company seemed to want to cut corners to save money, at the expense of the homeowner’s safety.  Luckily we were able to make it clear to the family that the insurance company cannot dictate which clean up company to hire. We completed the job professionally, respectfully and in a timely manner.

We really want to stress the fact that you, the insured, have the right to call whichever cleanup company you wish. It is not up to the insurance company. We believe that we are the best option, because we are the most qualified and experienced. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured and permitted to address all biohazard contamination conditions. We don’t do fire and water damage, focusing only on biohazardous situations. We handle public health hazards 100% by the book. People need to be safe and never worry about a possible exposure situation from a substandard company. Getting the job done right the first time is a far bigger value in the end.

For more information about how we work with insurance companies, visit the pricing and insurance information page on our website.

Safety Alert

Recently, BioSpecialists received a request for assistance at a crime scene, involving chemical suicide (“detergent suicide”) mitigation. This type of suicide has been a growing problem nationally, after originating in Japan, and apparently now in Maine. While any kind of trauma scene cleanup can be dangerous, a chemical suicide scene is particularly hazardous, for emergency service personnel, funeral home personnel and the public. Toxic fumes from mixing common, off the shelf products can be fatal when inhaled in moderate quantities. It is imperative that a chemical suicide scene be completely remediated by professionals.

BioSpecialists are experts at handling situations like these, using cutting edge technology to clean and disinfect a scene, as well as following strict safety guidelines and procedures. BioSpecialists can also assist funeral homes with response to these types of death scenes. We are the only company in Maine to utilize a portable Bio-Seal system, a product that allows us to completely seal the body of a chemical suicide victim, ensuring the safety of public safety personnel and funeral home employees.

Unfortunately, chemical suicide is an issue that funeral home personnel are going to have to learn how to respond to and deal with. BioSpecialists offers training and education programs on response to chemical suicides for funeral home directors and employees. We are available to travel to any location and instruct on the necessary precautions that must be taken when responding to and handling these hazardous cases. BioSpecialists is here to help make sure the responders and personnel have all the knowledge they need to deal with these types of incidents.

Bio-Specialists President Urges Support for LD 123

William York testifies in support of LD123Bio-Specialists President Testifies at State House; Urges Support for LD 123… Says it is all About Compassion

On February 19th, BioSpecialists president Bill York testified at the Augusta State House in support of LD123. LD123 would require people who recover or transfer body or body parts that have been donated to the State to be registered as an Anatomical Recovery Organization. These organizations must keep records of all the recoveries and transfers they perform, and there are penalties for not registering or keeping the proper records.

Here at BioSpecialists, we believe in the importance of this bill. It ensures that bodies are handled properly and respectfully by trained professionals. There are bio-hazardous risks associated with the handling of bodies, and it should be done by people who know how to keep themselves and the public safe. As Bill said during his testimony:

I believe that L.D. 123 will go a long way towards ensuring that the departed person will be treated with dignity and respect.  As a regulated carrier of medical waste, I can tell you that I am very familiar with chain of custody issues as they relate to biological infectious waste.  We know that our compliance with the law is an important part of ensuring that the deceased and all remains are treated with respect and that the chance of someone contracting an infection or communicable disease is greatly reduced when all of the appropriate procedures are followed. Again respect, dignity, and compassion should be paramount while dealing with human remains.

Bill has a lot of experience with this issue, both as the president of BioSpecialists and as the the owner of New England Livery Services LLC, which is a decedent transportation company. He says, “One thing I learned along the way is that everything that happens after a person passes away is for the remaining family and friends.”  Having a professional available to help with the transfer of a body eases the strain on the family and friends of the victim, and also keeps them safe.

Bill is happy to answer any questions about LD123, and can be contacted at 1-800-331-7731 or wyork@bio-specialists.com.