Crime Scene Bio-Hazards

Bio-Hazard-coroner talkMany investigators are unaware of the extreme risks that are present when dealing with blood and bodily fluids. There are many bloodborne pathogen (BBP) infections that can be transmitted through contact with another person’s blood or bodily fluid that may contain blood including, but not limited to, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. Most exposures are caused by a lack of universal precautions on some level, whether they are the result of failure to use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) or are due to an unintentional sharp left in an inappropriate container for disposal.

Once you look at some crime scene bio-hazards statistics you will have a new respect of crime scene protections.  The caution here is; don’t let the day to day work desensitize  you from the real dangers of blood and body fluids.

Some Statistics

1 out of every 24 people has Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV.

That’s a pretty sobering statistic, but very real. Here are the CDC stats to prove it:

1 in every 26 people has Hepatitis B.

  • Approximately 12 million Americans have been infected with Hepatitis B.
  • Over 1.4 million are chronically infected.
  • About 50% of the people in the United States with Hepatitis B are unaware of their infection.
  • Up to 100,000 new people will be infected each year.
  • Approximately 5,000 people will die each year from Hepatitis B and its’ complications.
  • Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than the AIDS virus.
  • The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.


1 in every 77 people has Hepatitis C.

  • Approximately 3.2 million people in the United States have Hepatitis C.
  • Over 75% of the people in the United States with Hepatitis C are unaware of their infection.
  • Hepatitis C is the most common bloodborne pathogen infection in the US.
  • Hepatitis C is the most common cause of death from liver disease.


1 out of every 258 people has HIV.

  • There are an estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States.
  • 1 out of 5 are unaware of their infection.
  • There are 50,000 new HIV diagnoses every year.
  • Every 9.5 minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV.
  • Over 25% of people living with HIV or AIDS also has Hepatitis

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, WHO 


Today’s show guest :

Andrew WhitmarshAndrew Whitmarsh  – Aftermath

Director of Operations at Aftermath, a nationwide trauma cleanup company. Responsible for quality control, and R&D of field-test methods and best practices for biohazard remediation.




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About the Author
Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy, has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

2 comments on Crime Scene Bio-Hazards

  1. Wesley Garrett says:

    I would like to know what disinfectant product the Aftermath companies use.

  2. bricolage says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment.

    I believe that you should write more on this
    subject, it might not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t talk
    about such issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

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