Halloween Hazards That Could Scare You to Death

Halloween Hazards Aside from the well-known and documented hazards of Halloween, like treats tainted with sharps and poison and pedestrians hit by cars, there are a few others that might never cross your mind. Glow Sticks Poison centers around the country get hundreds of calls around popular holidays like Halloween. The chemical that makes the sticks glow is called “dibutyl phthalate.” If it gets out of the stick and onto your body, it stings and burns. If it gets in your mouth, your lips and tongue will glow, and you probably swallowed some or all of it, which irritates your throat and makes it feel sore. If it gets in your eyes, your eyes will swell and hurt and feel sensitive to light. While glow sticks are not deadly, the chemical inside them, if it leaks out, can cause a lot of discomfort and pain and give you a good…

Mental Illness and Suicide: The Lethal Stigmas

September was National Suicide Prevention month. The goal of these designations is to raise awareness of a problem that is far more frequent and misunderstood than most of us realize. We at Advanced Bio Treatment realize it because so many of our calls involve cleaning up the scene of a suicide. They are some of the most difficult calls we handle. And the greatest tragedy is that suicide is 100% preventable. While pain and grief accompany all deaths, the agony we witness at the scene of a suicide is different. Loved ones are often plagued with shock and guilt. Most sadly, they feel shamed and disgraced because even in the progressive 21st century, the stigmas attached to suicide, and to the depression and mental illness that likely caused the suicide, linger beneath the surface of a culture that still points a judgmental finger at suicide. This quiet but unmistakable undercurrent…

What You Don’t Know About Blood-Borne Pathogens

OSHA defines blood-borne pathogens as “infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans” (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/). They include the deadly Hepatitis B and C viruses and also HIV. The Hepatitis B virus can live for up to a week on a contaminated surface. Hepatitis C can live for up to 4 days outside the body. Blood-borne pathogens are transmitted via blood and other bodily fluids when the blood or fluid makes contact with the bloodstream of an uninfected person. This contact happens when blood and bodily fluids touch the broken skin or mucous membrane of an uninfected person. “Broken skin” can be as tiny as an insect bite or pinhole puncture created by a needle or any sharp object. It can be simply the damaged skin of a sunburn or blister. Mucous membranes exist in the eyes, nose, and mouth. They also exist in the female genitals. Some of…