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Psychological Impact

The Psychological Impact of Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup

By Blog


The psychological impact of crime and trauma scene cleanup (CTS) is often overlooked. The media might highlight the gory reality of these professionals’ work, but we rarely hear about the emotional toll it takes on them. Each cleanup is a dual challenge: managing the physical aftermath of violence while navigating the labyrinth of trauma it leaves behind. The memories of the stories, the scenes—every aspect shapes their future experiences in ways few of us can comprehend.
Psychological Impact

Understanding the Emotional Impact:

These professionals walk into spaces where life’s fragility markedly clashes with its rawness. The silent screams of despair and the physical reminders of tragedy mark their work—every job carving a new niche in their emotional landscape.

Imagine entering a room where life once thrived, now reduced to a shell of what it used to be. The sights, sounds, and smells don’t fade with the door closing; they linger.

They return in quiet moments, challenging the boundaries of personal peace.

Many technicians state after doing this work, they have a different view of death. Most can’t describe how it’s different; it just is.

Coping Strategies:

Acknowledging these challenges is the first step. For many in the field, debriefing sessions are anchors on the tumultuous seas of their experiences.

Organized or informal, these gatherings offer the understanding only peers in their field can provide. Beyond structured support, many professionals lean on their spirituality, turning to faith leaders for solace in emotional wreckage.

However, the waves of these feelings often ebb and flow unpredictably, which requires a continuous commitment to self-care.

Personal Stories – A Glimpse Behind the Curtain:

Psychological Impact
A professional bio-technician of crime and trauma scene cleanup shared a poignant realization that changed the course of their perspective.

They spoke openly about their initial struggles, laced with anger towards the victims, feeling the weight of the survivors’ grief.

However, he experienced an epiphany that changed his views in a scene featuring countless books on mental illness in a darkened room.

A voice from deep inside him spoke to reveal the victim’s struggle to stay alive and lose the emotional battle. It became a symbol of a struggle that some lost despite their efforts.

It was this moment of understanding that realigned their Emotional journey, releasing a flood of empathy in the place of rage.

Another recounted anecdote warned of the peril of taking on jobs involving family to acquaintances. A personal connection amplifies the grief, stirring emotional turmoil that took months to settle from one colleague who didn’t heed the warning.

One must maintain boundaries between personal and professional connections to safeguard the delicate balance of emotional well-being.

One company’s motto is “No one should be victimized twice.” They came up with that motto to reflect family members attempting the cleanup. But, as you read above, it’s a message that can apply to everyone in these situations.

It’s important to recognize the potential emotional toll of any job, whether it involves family or not. The effects of stress and trauma can be long-lasting if not managed properly.

That’s why self-care is crucial for anyone in a demanding or emotionally taxing job. Taking breaks, seeking support from colleagues or mental health professionals, and finding healthy outlets for stress are all critical steps in maintaining emotional well-being.

A Case Study:

During a training session, the instructor asked the employees if they would like an impromptu Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. The owner was present and agreed to stay for the meeting.

As employees shared incidents that affected them emotionally, the owner was asked if he would like to share any experiences.

He was also an ex-marine and volunteer EMT/Firefighter for their small community.

He reported that he wasn’t really affected by trauma and didn’t have anything to share. The instructor was skeptical but proceeded with another employee who wanted to share.

In the middle of the conversation with others in the room, the owner spoke up to recount a situation involving an auto accident and a young child being injured.

The owner interrupted three times during the meeting to recount other incidents.

The instructor stopped and pointed out that the owner strongly suggested he was never affected by the trauma he was involved with, yet he had recounted those three stories.

Everyone in the room was silent for several minutes. With tears in his eyes and a shaky voice, the owner replied, I was affected more than I realized. I’ve been lying to myself and can now see how it has affected my dealings with people.

It turned out to be a refreshing time of healing.

Companies should also prioritize creating a supportive and understanding work culture. CTS companies should provide resources for employees to manage their emotions.

They should promote open communication and empathy among team members and take proactive measures to prevent burnout and secondary trauma.

By implementing these strategies, both individuals and organizations can work toward reducing them.

The Way Forward:

As we shed light on the psychological landscapes of those who undertake crime and trauma scene cleanup, it’s clear that advocating for their mental health stands paramount.

Ongoing dialogue within the CTS community, supported by mental health professionals who understand this nuanced trauma, can pave the way for robust support systems.

Organizations that offer trauma-informed care could be pivotal in addressing these professionals’ unique challenges.

The conversation must expand to create a comprehensive, nationwide strategy supporting mental well-being in this field.

In conclusion, the stories of those who stand at the intersections of pain and peace, grappling with the vestiges of violence and trauma, remind us of the complex web woven by human emotions.

Their tales of resilience and renewal mark a hopeful path forward as they include themselves in a collective of support, understanding, and healing.

They deserve nothing less than their compassion and unwavering support in navigating the intricate emotional terrains they inhabit.

How Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup Companies Help Communities

How Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup Companies Help Communities

By Blog

How Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup Companies Help Communities Heal through what they provide, Care, Compassion, and Peace of Mind.

From The Life of a Death Scene Cleaner.

Written by Don M. McNulty — © copyright 2024. All rights reserved.

Suicide produces one of the loneliest times for everyone involved with the person who took their own life. No one wants to discuss the death in those terms.

Suicide, even to this day, seems to carry a sigma of shame with it. Those living feel shame even though they were not the ones who committed suicide. So, once I thought about it, I wondered where the shame came from?

I believe our moral and spiritual beliefs contribute to the shame associated with suicide, as society views it as a sin. Some individuals perceive suicide as a mental illness that can run in families, like certain other types of mental illnesses.

But there is no proof of those beliefs, and those left behind should feel nothing other than the same grief they bear with any type of death.

Still, others feel a sense of shame and guilt because they believe they could have done more, said something different, or devised a clever scenario that would instantly dispel any thought of self-harm and answer all the questions leading to the demise of their loved one.

How Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup Companies Help Communities

When someone takes their own life, they obviously are not thinking right. They’re not stopping to think about what they’re leaving behind, relationally, mentally, or physically.

When the police arrived to complete their investigation, making sure this wasn’t a homicide, the process usually takes five to six hours. The police typically inform the family that the cleanup is their responsibility once they decide and hand over the scene.

The responsibility to clean up does not lie with the government but with the property owner, which surprises people. Now, they face the questions of how this gets done and who does it work?

Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup (CTS) companies or some call Biohazard Cleaning now do that job. Many companies nationwide have taken on the physical and emotional burden and liabilities of doing this work. The good news is they are usually a short distance away, and property insurance usually pays for this work. The insurance providers treat this similarly to fire and storm damage.

We help the community heal through what we provide. Our company’s culture sets us apart from everyone else in that we believe first and foremost we provide Care, Compassion, and Peace of Mind, through our work.

When our companies didn’t exist, families and business owners would be left to beg, borrow, or steal anyone they could to help with the cleanup. Our motto is, “No One Should be Victimized Twice.” The last thing a person wants is to be the one to clean up a trauma death scene from a loved one. We wouldn’t — if it were us.

Many times, there is always this nagging question given to us as to why someone would take their own life? For many years, I would ask myself the same question. My answer is this: suicide is an irrational act, and you have a rational mind. A rational mind cannot understand an irrational act.

Whatever excuse a victim is using, we can devise a logical counter, but that’s not the problem, and none of that would matter. Have you ever smashed your finger with a hammer or slammed it between a car door? At that moment, where is all your attention? On the hurt finger.

I could put a dancing bear in front of you, and you would not notice because all your attention is focused on the hurt, and you cannot focus elsewhere. Are you beginning to see the true picture? Watch this Awareness test:

I’ve learned a long time ago. It’s not your fault. You couldn’t have said anything to make much of a difference if the victim’s mind can’t see beyond the pain.

Suicide affects the immediate community. I remember one case when a husband, father, and neighbor who lived in a small neighborhood took his own life. This neighborhood was built as a circle of 22 homes with only one street entering and leaving. Almost everyone living there knew their neighbors.

Their kids went to the same schools, played on the same sports team, or attended dance classes together; many attended the same church. Most of those people had lived in the neighborhood for many years, raising their families.

I, with one employee, was called to the job. I spoke to his wife, who was this beautiful but very broken by grief women. In the home, I saw many framed photographs of their family having fun at ball games, backyard bar-b-ques, and the traditional poses as the kids aged.

While loading the truck at the end of my day, a neighbor gave me a waive, and I waived back. He felt I was giving him permission to approach and have a conversation. Normally, I don’t speak with anyone other than who my contact gives me permission to speak with.

He started with, that was quite a mess in there. Not wanting to detail the work, I said, generally, that’s why we were called.

He continued by telling me how bad he felt for his friend. He knew he was struggling but didn’t want to talk about it much, so I rarely asked how he was doing? I saw him this morning, and all I did was waive before I left for work. I should have said something, walked across the street, and had a conversation. He may have opened up to me. But lately, he seemed better.

It’s been my experience; anything you could have said or done would have made a difference. Another thing you might want to know about the reason a person who is contemplating suicide seems better is that he’s arrived at his decision and just waiting for the right time and place.

We spoke a few more sentences and I begged off to finish loading. But when I arrived at my truck, there was yet another neighbor. Before leaving that day, I spoke with three neighbors, all having the same questions. Each one is broken and grieving in their own way.

I did suggest to the last one that he call a meeting before the funeral with a counselor from the local Suicide hotline or a pastor present. This would help them to better understand how to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors cope. Also, how to better offer solace to the man’s grieving widow and children, because these are the conversations that seem the most awkward, so many never approach. When asked why they say, I just didn’t know what to say, it’s different than a normal death.

The physical damage to the structure left behind can be extensive. Because the names of most CTS companies have the word cleaning in their title, people need to understand that although cleaning is part of what we do, we perform what I call deconstruction, which is the other part.

We don’t call it demolition since we remove structure in a precise way. We are not taking sledgehammers into a space and knocking out walls like we were remodeling an area. We set up safety zones and construct negative air chambers and use HEPA Vacuums to contain and capture contamination during the remediation process. Our technicians dress in Level 3 PPE and double glove for protection according to OSHA Regulations.

The work is more like peeling an onion. We carefully remove the top layer, and if we find further damage, we remove the second and third until all biohazards have been removed or contained.

Over the years, we have developed procedures and processes that allow us to remove the damage which allows the build-back crew to have an easier job replacing what was removed.

If supporting structures are affected, our technicians are trained in construction methods. Hence, they know how to safely perform any task necessary. We also know when it may be necessary to call in a Class A Contractor or Architect Engineer when we’ve determined we are dealing with a load-bearing wall.

We help heal the communities we serve by knowing our job and what it takes to safely remove biohazards from the structure and bring those areas back to sanitary conditions for handling, use, or disposal.

We further help them heal emotionally by offering the care and compassion they need. We are not there to judge; we are there to serve. Through all these years, we’ve learned that the best gift we can give is two ears to listen when they want to speak and an understanding heart.

We also know they want us to do our job correctly and efficiently and leave as soon as possible to finish the job. I’ll add one more note to finish with. Very few families remain in the home. Many never return except to pack up and move.

But on rare occasions, I hear that friends who were once neighbors have stayed in touch and maintained their close relationships. As an once Pastor and Counselor, I can tell you those have become the most cherished relationships.

The Holiday Blues

By Blog


While the Holiday season is typically joyful, it can also bring the “Holiday Blues.”

Around 65% of people experience the Holiday Blues, as per a survey by the American Psychological Association. This phenomenon results from several triggers that are heightened during this season. Financial pressures, family issues, and personal health can all contribute to feelings of stress and sadness.

holiday blues crime scene cleaners kc

Financial stress is a significant contributor to the Holiday Blues. According to a Gallup Poll, people planned to spend about $992 on gifts and holiday items in 2023. This is the same amount spent in 2022. However, with inflation over the past two years, the purchasing power will be less than in previous years. With the added inflation, this amount can represent a significant financial burden for many families and individuals.

Family dynamics can also add to the holiday stress. While some enjoy reuniting with family members, this forced interaction can lead to tension and conflict for others. The American Psychological Association states that 38% of people feel more stressed during holiday family gatherings.

Personal health is another factor that could contribute to feelings of stress and sadness during the holiday season. Unhealthy habits like eating junk food, not working out, having poor sleep, and drinking alcohol can cause physical discomfort and stress.
It’s important to remember that if you or someone you know is experiencing the Holiday Blues, you’re not alone, and help is available. To handle these emotions, mental health experts advise realistic expectations, taking care of oneself, volunteering, keeping a regular sleep and eating routine, and seeking support from others.

Remember, it’s completely normal to experience stress and sadness during the holiday season. However, if you feel these feelings are intense or lasting for long periods, seeking professional help is advisable. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and tending to it is crucial, especially during stressful times.

In North America, people seem to believe the myth that suicide increases during the holiday season. Suicide rates remain consistently low during the holiday season and the two months that follow.

However, if you are an individual having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please call 988 right now. You will find compassionate help every day of the year.

Just to clarify, I am not suicidal. I have no one to talk to, no family, no friends. I’m mainly stuck at home. Is there someone I can call?

The answer to your question is YES; you can text HOME to 741741. Ten thousand volunteers are waiting to have a conversation and listen to your concerns or talk about whatever you want.

Facebook has several Groups dedicated to lonely people of every age or gender. We’ve researched just a few, but there are more. Find one that fits you. If you start with any suggestions I’ve shown below, and if they work for you, great! But if something feels wrong or doesn’t provide you the companionship you need, delete the group and find another. I know everyone has to start small, but we saw some groups with ten or twelve in the group, and it would be harder to have anonymity with a small group. If you’re sharing some of your private feelings and emotions, you’ll want to keep it anonymous.

Here is a small list of the Facebook Groups we suggest you begin with;

  • Lonely Ladies Support Group
  • Lonely Souls
  • Alone, Empty, Lonely Confused
Suicide Cleanup

Damaged, What’s Left After Suicide, May Surprise You?

By Blog


The effects of suicide devastate those loved ones and those left behind to pick up the pieces. It is an issue that can take a severe toll on any individual or family, leaving behind emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial destruction.

Dealing with the death of someone by suicide can be tough for their family and friends, as they face a mix of emotions like shock, guilt, grief, and anger. The constant reminders of the person’s death can make it hard to move forward and heal from the tragedy. Feelings of betrayal or abandonment will affect these people for months and years after the fact.

Those affected by suicide may struggle with depression or anxiety because the death created a sudden void in their life. Experiencing a death like this can make it hard for people to trust or form close connections from fears of a repeat occurrence.

Financially, suicide can present many roadblocks as well. The costs of funerals and medical expenses can be overwhelming. We often forget about the damage to the home where the death happened, especially if it was a traumatic event involving a gunshot.
A persistent myth that insurance doesn’t pay for anything related to suicide isn’t true.

Life Insurance won’t pay if the suicide occurs within the specific time frames stated in the policy. If the policy coverage is $200,000 or more, the time frame mentioned is six months, up to two years, but it can be three years if the decedent had coverage ranging from $500,000 to one million or more.
But any death by suicide after those requirements will be paid by the insurance provider, with no questions or delays.
Most homeowner policies pay for the structural damage to be remediated, cleaned, and repaired.

One type of policy doesn’t pay for the indemnification of the property. A Named Peril Policy, Ho2 only pays for what is named as covered, and they never name death and mayhem. These policies are rare compared to an Ho3 homeowner or an Ho6 Condo owner’s policy. The latter two types of policies should pay for the structure to be restored, less the deductible.

If the deceased was a main economic supporter for their family, this could leave them without the proper income resources when needed.

When it comes to suicides, there may be Spiritual questions about why and confusion regarding forgiveness for everyone involved. It’s hard for many to balance honoring memories of the deceased and finding inner peace.

It is possible to heal from a loved one’s suicide with time, patience, and support from loved ones. You don’t have to go through it alone – help is available, there are counseling services and support groups.

I always urge families and friends to attend support groups as a bare minimum to help cope with these events. I strongly suggest counseling because I’ve seen it help individuals come to terms with their resulting hurt and anguish and the ability to move on with their lives more quickly.


Studies have shown that suicide can increase the probability of another close family member taking their life by more than two and a half times than other families who have no history of suicide.

Suicide Cleanup

The cause can be many things, from a family history of mental illness to the ideation of suicide to escape the pressures of life, many times stemming from unresolved issues from the initial suicide the family suffered. These feelings of self-demise are among the most significant reasons to follow through with counseling and support groups. Everyone needs to be aware of these very real statistics and ensure we support close family and friends who may give thought to self-harm.

How might you know if these thoughts are in their minds? Warning signs that a family member might contemplate suicide can be subtle and complex to detect. It is essential to look for signs of pervasive sadness, isolation, withdrawal from activities that used to bring joy, reckless behavior, substance abuse, or talking about death or wanting to die. Straight talk is also essential. We cower many times at the thought of having these conversations, but I assure you that if you feel you should and don’t speak and that person either attempts or successfully commits suicide, you’ll live with regret most of your life.
If you think someone in your life is at risk of taking their own life, getting them the help, they need, is essential.

The Remediation of the Structure

For example, the damage to the structure left behind from blood and bodily fluids can be extensive, including the contents inside the damaged area.
Our work is like an onion, where we peel back the layers until there is no further damage.

In most of our work, we are removing carpet and pad. If there happens to be a hardwood floor with damage, that flooring area will usually be removed, too. If the damage is heavy or we have evidence fluids have gone beyond the subflooring, we will remove that section of the subfloor. The remaining structure, such as floor joists, can be sanded or plane it to remove contamination.

Another example today is that many floors are covered in plank floor covering, either vinyl or composite flooring. Even though this floor is supposed to be waterproof, it doesn’t perform as a waterproof barrier, and on most occasions, we must remove the flooring.


The Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup (CTS) Industry exists to help families and businesses in these situations. Speaking for Crime Scene Cleaners, LLC, our company culture carries our belief that we sell Care — Compassion — and Peace of Mind; our work is how we express it. We do this work because we believe no one should be victimized twice. The family has been victimized once through the incident, but it would be wrong to allow more emotional harm if they had to go into the area to remediate and clean it themselves.

If you or your know of someone who needs our services, please call 1-800-909-2939.

If you work in an industry that comes into contact regularly with individuals and families who experience this type of loss creating damage within their homes, please contact our office. We would like to speak with you on how help can be given to these families in faster terms. The last ting anyone wants would be leaving a family struggling to search for help during a time like this. Our services area covers the states of Missouri and Kansas, the adjacent areas of Omaha, NE, and the top northern counties of Arkansas.


The Hidden Dangers of Pigeon Cleanup — Histoplasmosis

By Blog


The information and the stories below are accurate. I have removed the names of the victims for privacy reasons.

Oh my gosh! Are you telling me I must worry about pigeon poop? Look — we’ll all die of something sometime, but this is beyond the pale. I can’t bother dodging bird spatter while walking along the sidewalk.

Nope, that’s different from what I’m talking about. I’m talking about larger nesting areas. Places where you have twenty, thirty, or fifty pigeons. I notice a large flock of pigeons flying around the parking garage whenever I visit this building. Most nest on the south side, but others are on the west.

But they’re not hurting anything. No one says anything about it unless they have to park their car near those areas, and they need to wash their car now and then.

Listen, with pigeons, the amount of pigeon dung grows when there is a large group of birds. It doesn’t take so long before enough dung grows that it grows a fungus or mold for another name, called Histoplasma. As it grows, it is constantly being disturbed by the pigeons flying in and out of the nesting area, and they routinely walk back and forth over their nest areas. This causes the mold spores to break loose and become airborne. These mold spores float in the air and eventually land on any surface. The more significant amount of dung causes greater amounts of fungus floating in the air. Everyone using the garage will breathe in the mold spores. Most of the time, nothing comes of it. But that doesn’t negate the real danger.

If someone routinely exposes you to the spores, you have a greater chance of becoming infected, and that’s called Histoplasmosis. The spores usually enter the pulmonary system and grow in the lungs.

If this happens, then there is even greater danger lurking.

What’s that?

The disease will first present to its victim as a chest cold, with the usual fever, cough, chills, fatigue, body aches, and chest pain. When patients see the Doctor, they are unaware of any reason to suspect a fungal infection, so the Doctor will treat them for the flu or bronchitis. I the person has waited to go to the Doctor, they may have a mild case of pneumonia, and the physician will treat them accordingly.

Why doesn’t the Doc see the infection on the chest X-ray?

At this stage, they can’t see it. All they see is the fluid building up in the lungs. The danger increases because the Doctor’s treatment won’t work against the growing fungal infection.

Well, what should the Doctor do to diagnose the problem?

The simplest way to diagnose is through a urine, blood, or sputum test and sending it to a laboratory to be cultured. This will give the best diagnosis, but it can take up to six weeks to receive the results. If the Doctor isn’t taking preventative measures by this time, the fungus will continue to grow. Even treatment for pneumonia will not reverse the fungal infection, and I’ve had friends die from misdiagnosis.

Seriously? Have you known people to die from mold?

Yes, one of my friends brought a parrot and a cockatoo into his home; he took them in from a friend who was moving and couldn’t care for the birds. My friend didn’t take care of the aviary as he should have, and the fungus grew; the birds disturbed the fungus and floated throughout the home through the central HVAC system. Just purely by chance, my friend was the only one in his family to end up with Histoplasmosis and died in two and a half years. He was 61 years old when he passed away.

Another friend was from an office sharing situation. He lived the longest with the disease. This renowned forensic anthropologist was working in a Mexico City garbage dump. His task was to find the remains of a local politician. Unfortunately, he realized he had left his respirator in the truck one morning. In a crucial moment, he went without his respirator until lunch break, then retrieved it for use the rest of the day.

According to my friend, that one decision would cost him his life and several years of misery living with the disease.

But the story of Histoplasma continues. There is such a thing as Ocular Histoplasmosis, and a relative of mine attending college got up one morning and had no balance. She could hardly walk. They discovered she had ocular Histoplasmosis. According to her Doctor, she likely felt something in her eye while walking around the college campus. Like anyone, our response is to rub our eye, which usually flushes out the minute spec. But this time, it forced the spore behind the eye orbit. It grew to a size that pushed against the retina of her eye, thus giving her distorted vision and interrupting her balance.

Okay, go on, what happened to her?

She was lucky; they used a cold laser that could shoot through her eye. If this had happened three years earlier, they would have had to remove her eye surgically and treat it with chemicals, then place a blind eye back into the socket. They only had this treatment available for a short while and stated it worked eight seven percent of the time. My relative was fortunate that it worked, and she’s fine now.

Yet another case where the wife of a student of mine had Ocular Histoplasmosis, which caused scarring in her left eye. She could barely see out of that eye, but the retina had tiny holes, making it look like Swiss cheese.

I did not know that bird poop could do that.

Remember, it isn’t the tiny, scattered spats of poop but a buildup in their nesting area. It’s the same for pigeons, chickens, and even bat guano.

Bats too?

Yep, bats as well.


If you’re reading this story and know of an area where pigeons gather, or bats reside, please pass on our information.
Crime Scene Cleaners, LLC remediates those biohazards from the living and work areas, returning them to a safe environment. I state our contact information below.

(913) 808-7642(816) 808-7642(800) 909-2939

c diff

Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting Strategies for C. diff in Non-Medical Settings

By Blog, Education/Information

By Don McNulty

Clostridium difficile, commonly known as C. diff, is a bacterium that causes colon inflammation and can lead to severe diarrhea and bowel incontinence. Although C. diff infections are commonly associated with healthcare settings, outbreaks can also occur in community settings. It is essential to use proper cleaning and disinfecting strategies in non-medical settings to prevent the spread of this bacterium. This blog post aims to supply information to protect your community from C. diff infections. Most infections happen in a medical facility, but community infections are rising with the growing off-site medical care given today. In the US, there are over 680,000 infections yearly, resulting in almost 100,000 deaths yearly.

C. diff can be hard to heal from. Many victims have recurring battles with C. diff or other prolonged symptoms that can last years.

First, Understand the Risk

C. diff infection spreads through fecal-oral transmission, meaning that spores of the bacterium, which are shed in the stool, can survive on surfaces for months and infect people who encounter them. Non-medical settings, such as gyms, schools, shopping areas, and public transportation, can be ideal for spreading these spores. Knowing the risk factors of C. diff infection can help you take steps to prevent its spread in these settings. I’ve been asked on occasions how infected feces appear on surfaces outside a restroom. C. diff causes bowel incontinence, meaning the bowel pressure is so great at times that the person loses their ability to reach the toilet. Also, even if a person knows they are ill, thorough hand washing isn’t accomplished; thus, the spread of outside the restroom.

Detection and Initial Diagnosis

If you suspect C. diff, the only way to know for sure is to have a sample of fecal material tested. In a public setting, management can call the local Health Department and ask for a sample to be taken.

There are tell signs one can use if one suspects C. diff. In public restrooms, you may see copious amounts of loose stool on the floor, perhaps on the walls of the toilet stall, on the toilet, and down the back and sides. Usually, management believes this may be vandalism, not knowing what bowel incontinence looks like.

C. diff stool has a strong and distinct odor. Most people who experience contact with C. diff will agree — you will never forget the odor once you identify it.

You should only ask your trained housekeeping or janitorial staff to clean the mess if they have training in proper donning and doffing PPE and the bloodborne pathogen rule and are armed with a sporicidal disinfectant. Otherwise, call someone like Crime Scene Cleaners to come and handle the mess.

Effective Cleaning and Disinfecting

Cleaning and disinfecting are essential steps in preventing the spread of C. diff. Cleaning involves removing visible debris from surfaces while disinfecting entails killing pathogens on those surfaces. To ensure the proper cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, follow the instructions on the product label. Using a disinfectant that is effective against C. diff is crucial in non-medical settings. Ensure surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently, with extra attention paid to high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, and phones.

In a public setting, one must assume the infected person was in other areas of whatever establishment. If this is a school, your janitorial staff will perform a deep cleaning and sanitizing of the school like a flu outbreak. The difference being you will use a sporicidal disinfectant.


The number one rule in using disinfectants is ALL disinfectants go neutral against a 5% soil load. In most ambient settings, detecting a 5% soil load with the naked eye would be impossible.

Therefore, one must assume a surface is dirty, even though they cannot see the soiling.

I use an instrument in the field to show whether a surface is sanitary. The instrument is an ATP Meter. They cost around $1100 – $1400, and I will not be going into how they work or how to use them in this article.

Best Practices should always be used in cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Those rules state to assume the surface is dirty and use an appropriate cleaner approved for the environment you are working in. Be thorough, as you can clean each surface we’ve spoken about. Next, apply the disinfectant separately and thoroughly.

With C. diff, the disinfectant must be sporicidal. I don’t like bleach solutions’ destructive nature, so I recommend a professional-grade disinfectant. You will discover peracetic acid has a strong, pungent, vinegar-like odor, and almost everyone will complain about the product.

I recommend It is a hydrogen peroxide formula that will kill the bacteria in three minutes of contact time. It presents a very low odor and dries to an inert state into a very fine powder you can wipe up easily with a damp cloth.

You must read and follow the product label as the Label is the Law.

Proper Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is another crucial aspect of preventing the spread of C. diff. Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds removes spores from hands. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ineffective against C. diff spores and should not be used as a substitute for handwashing. Promoting proper hand hygiene in non-medical settings can reduce the risk of C. diff infection.

proper hand cleaning

The scientist wears a yellow decontamination suit and wears blue rubber gloves to protect his skin

Identifying Outbreaks

Early recognition of outbreaks is critical to preventing their spread. Monitoring C. diff infections in your community can help you identify any potential outbreaks. Symptoms of C. diff infection include watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. If you suspect an outbreak in your non-medical setting, report it at once to the relevant health authorities. They can guide how to prevent its spread effectively.

Education and Awareness

Proper education and awareness campaigns can help prevent the spread of C. diff. Raising awareness about the risk factors, symptoms, and prevention strategies of C. diff infection can empower individuals to protect themselves and their community. Educating staff in non-medical settings and encouraging communication and collaboration between staff and patrons can help prevent the spread of C. diff.


In conclusion, proper cleaning and disinfecting strategies, effective hand hygiene, identifying outbreaks, education, and awareness, can go a long way in preventing the spread of C. diff in non-medical settings. You can contribute to keeping your community safe from this dangerous bacterium. Remember, preventing the spread of C. diff is everyone’s responsibility.

Need Help

Suppose you have C. diff in a residence, apartment, or commercial area and need professional cleaning and disinfecting. In that case, you can call Crime Scene Cleaners at 1-800-909-2939.


Crime and Trauma Incidents Can Cause Structure Damage

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By Don M. McNulty

No one knows when tragedy may strike our families. When it does, it leaves us confused, trying to understand everything. Dealing with confusion and grief is overwhelming and impossible. Suicide, homicide, or unattended death can frequently leave psychological trauma. Crime Scene Cleaners emphasizes, “No one should be victimized twice.”
That is why we exist to provide care, compassion, and peace of mind during this extreme stress.

As a leader in the industry, we have developed professional methods to remediate any structure type properly. Whether residential, commercial, industrial, vehicle, or train, we have the knowledge and experience to do the job right. In addition, we are adept at remediating a single residence to mass casualty incidents.

Crime Scene Cleaners, LLC is the premier company in the Midwest, established in 1999. We are the oldest and largest company of its kind in the Kansas City Region. We thoroughly train and certify our technicians as Bio-Technicians and Master Technicians.
Safety is essential for our technicians and clients, so our staff regularly attends OSHA-based safety meetings.

Are You Aware That Your Property Insurance May Cover Our Work?

We routinely work with every insurance provider within our Missouri and Kansas coverage area. We can help walk you through that process if necessary. Start by calling our office so we can help with this process.

If insurance is unavailable, other avenues may be in place to help with part or all the cost, including funeral expenses. Amounts available may depend on the situation and the State of the incident. Again, we can help walk you through this process if necessary.
If you have a need, call us. You will find compassionate people who are well-qualified to handle any incident. We are available 24/7/365. Call 1-800-909-2939.

Crime Scene Cleanup

The Importance of Professional Trauma Scene Cleanup Services and Exploring the Risks of DYI

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By Don M. McNulty

We’ve been cleaning up after our dead since Cane and Abel. But it wasn’t until 1993 that the first company began as a dedicated service to the community. At first it was a dedicated service born from a janitorial company that received many calls for help from people mainly for cleanup services mainly for suicides. Research for these types of companies within the city the janitorial company was operating, they found no one that would be able to help.

Further research could not find any companies in the United States dedicated to this work.

What he did find the victims of traumatic death were left to beg, borrow, or steal anyone they could press into service. Usually, those were friends, friends of friends, or more distant relatives. If those contacts couldn’t be found willing, then the family members had to perform the cleanup themselves. Even if they found someone not connected to the immediate family to help — most only did what we call the gross removal. There was still plenty of work left for the family to do to finish the job. 

One can only imagine the toll on the family involved in this cleanup and restoration of the structure.

Over the years I’ve been able to interview family members who had to do their own cleaning and restoration and I would always walk away with a sense of sadness about what they went through.

At first the original company was born from a profit motive. But it wasn’t long before the owner realized — as most company owners now have found — this is a community service to help hurting families and not just a job to be done.

Unlike the helpful folks who tried to help families if they could, this industry had to develop procedures and protocols to make sure the work was complete, leaving no trace of the incident to further traumatize the loved ones. 

We found early on most of the work is covered by property insurance that covered not only the remediation and cleaning of the incident but the restoration of the damaged area(s). 

Nothing in the world dealing with human trauma is inexpensive and it can be a hardship for some to cover the whole cost of cleanup and restoration. 

Most people believe that these crime and trauma death scene cleaning (CTS) companies just clean. It was unfortunate that the beginning companies had the term cleaning attached to the name. Hence the misunderstanding of what work is really performed. 

Blood and bodily fluids move mush like water damage. But much of the work isn’t connected to cleaning. Most of the time I describe it as controlled demolition. Usually, carpet and pad need removal, as it cannot be cleaned. Carpet is a wick. When liquid hits the top the carpet fiber begins to wick the liquid down into the carpet. 

Once it hits the primary backing it wicks laterally and spreads out. Many times, this spreading can’t be seen from the top. But I’ve seen a spot on the top of the carpet that appears to be no larger than a dinner plate, whereas underneath there’s a pool of blood and bodily fluids four or more feet in diameter. In most of those cases the blood has traveled on to the subfloor or many times a hardwood floor then down to the subfloor.

Now the technicians will have to remove the affected carpet and pad and place it in a biohazard container. Then they set up containments to create and negative air chamber of the room and using saws cutting and removing the hardwood flooring. One some occasions they even remove subflooring so they can remediate floor joist. 

If this area has an apartment or another level under this primary floor, they will investigate to make sure the contamination hasn’t proceeded down to the lower levels.

At times there are surfaces that make it difficult to see the blood and bodily fluids on the surface. We’ve discovered we could use an inexpensive blood indicator that will show exactly where the blood or any bodily fluid containing blood serum is so we can find every small spec of contamination.

CTS companies may use different methods to clean and remediate walls and ceilings, but the result is usually the same. All traces of contamination are wholly removed. 

If the area of concern incorporates concrete substrates in the early days this was a problem but over time the industry developed products and utilized them so we can remove the blood staining in concrete and many other substrates that were problematic in the beginning.

Movies can be very entertaining, but they are not reality. In one movie called the Cleaner with Samuel L. Jackson as the leading star in the opening scene he called to clean a white sofa covered in blood. Lo and behold he returns it to its former beauty, a pristine white sofa.

Like I said, it’s not reality. Those pieces of upholstered furniture will be slashed and trashed, with the contaminated areas placed in a biohazard container. 

There are occasions where the contamination is very slight and on the surface of an upholstered piece, on occasion the technicians may be able to recover such a piece for the family. Antiques, art, and jewelry are handled differently. As is anything else that holds real or perceived value to the family. Even though the family may be reeling with grief — the industry standard dictates all things that may be recognized to hold some intrinsic value will be set aside until a determination can be made by the responsible person. 

Our technicians are trained in many things to do this work properly and keep themselves and everyone else who comes into the work site safe.

Because our technicians come into contact daily with Bloodborne Pathogens and other Infectious materials they are trained in various OSHA Standards such as.

The Bloodborne Pathogen Rule 1910.1030

        Biohazard containment
        Proper biohazard Disposal
        Epidemiology (how disease Transfers
        Proper cleaning and disinfection techniques
Personal Protective Equipment 1910.132
The Respiratory Rule 1910.134
The Hazardous Material Right-to-Know Rule 1910.1200
Fall Protection 1926.500

Plus, several others such as, General Safety and Health, Work surfaces, Care and handling of Tools, Ladders and Scaffolds, Hearing Protection, etc. 

How to properly dismantle and remove flooring of every type.

American Architecture Standards for building and construction materials and substrates for residential and commercial construction.
Placing proper containment and creating Negative air chambers to minimize cross contamination.
Proper removal techniques of biohazards from the structure.

Dealing with the bereaved and handling stressful situations.

Of course, there are a hundred other things to know that come from experience in the field. 

This article has given you the basis of a professional Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup Company. Don’t try to handle these incidents on your own. Turning to a professional in these situations is really the best thing to do.

If you find yourself or someone close to you dealing with a traumatic loss, please give us a call at 1-800-909-2939 or contact us through this website.


PTSD word cloud

I’ve heard about PTSD — But What is Moral Injury?

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I’ve heard about PTSD — But What is Moral Injury?
-By Don M. McNulty

As a Bio-technician in the Crime and Trauma Scene Industry, I suffered from PTSD like many first responders and those in the medical field. I thought if I studied everything I could to understand my condition, I would affect a better recovery and help me manage it. Unfortunately, I believe one never heals from PTSD, but we learn to manage it into remission.

While attending a Chaplaincy Conference here in Missouri, we had a quick session on Moral Injury. I had never encountered that term in my research, so it got my attention. However, as I spoke with others who have continued to suffer for years from PTSD, they had never heard of the term. Knowing those who continue to suffer from PTSD made me wonder how I learned to place mine into remission, and they hadn’t been able to get to any higher level of healing. Until now, I concluded that most of those I spoke to were active in combat, where I’d never been.

So today, with this writing, I’m presenting perhaps another avenue for victims of this disorder to seek more information to reach a healing place.

PTSD word cloud

What is Moral Injury?

“Moral injury can occur when someone engages in, fails to prevent, or witnesses acts that conflict with their values or beliefs. Examples of events that may lead to moral injury include:

  • Having to make decisions that affect the survival of others or where all options will lead to a negative outcome
  • Doing something that goes against your beliefs (referred to as an act of commission)
  • Failing to do something in line with your beliefs (referred to as an act of omission)
  • Witnessing or learning about such an act
  • Experiencing betrayal by trusted others.”

The National Center for PTSD provides the above definition of Moral Injury.

Moral injury and PTSD are very different but have similarities, often causing confusion between the two disorders. PTSD is a mental health condition caused by exposure to a traumatic event. This event can be anything from combat to sexual assault. On the other hand, moral injury results from one violating their moral code, which could be as simple as lying to someone you love or as serious as committing a war crime or violating a religious-based moral code.

Moral injury can be incredibly damaging, leading to guilt, shame, and self-loathing. These feelings can be perplexing and hard to cope with, often leading to substance abuse and suicide. PTSD, while also incredibly damaging, is more focused on the symptoms caused by the traumatic event itself. These symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.

People with these disorders may avoid discussing or taking part in activities that remind them of the traumatic event, such as Group Therapy. People with Moral Injury may also feel like they can’t talk about it because they feel intense shame. Both victims feel no one will understand what they’re going through.

The symptoms of moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder can be relieved with different treatments. For those suffering from PTSD, treatment should focus on relieving the physical effects caused by traumatic events, like therapy or medication. For people who have experienced a more profound hurt, such as an act of morality offense, this may take longer because they need to come to terms first before moving forward into talking about what happened, which is an often-difficult process.

Understanding the differences between moral injury and PTSD is vital to get the right help for yourself or someone you love.
If you think you may suffer from moral injury rather than PTSD, please seek help immediately and have that discussion with a qualified professional.

Why have I not heard of Moral Injury?

Moral Injury is a term that has been gaining traction in recent years to describe the unique damage caused by war and other traumatic experiences, as stated above. Jonathan Shay, a doctor who has worked extensively with veterans, coined the term in his book “Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming.”

PTSD is a well-known and well-studied condition caused by exposure to traumatic events. Intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance characterize PTSD. However, there are many symptoms, and no two people experience PTSD in precisely the same way.
We treat PTSD and moral injuries in different ways. Treatment for moral injury should focus on helping the person come to terms with what they have done. Therapy can be a long and challenging process, but it is necessary to move on.

The significant difference between PTSD and Moral Injury

PTSD is a registered mental health condition we treat with therapy and medication. It results from seeing a traumatic event outside of ourselves.

Currently, the Medical Psychiatric Community does not consider Moral Injury a mental health condition. Moral injury results from someone committing an act that violates their inner morality. However, there is growing evidence we should treat Moral Injury as its own category of trauma.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Moral Injury, you can take steps to get help. You can find resources at the websites for Veterans Affairs in the U.S. and Canada if they were part of the military, and others can find help with The National Center of PTSD.

Both PTSD and Moral Injury involve therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy or exposure therapy. However, treating Moral Injury also often involves soul-searching, reflection on the event, and its impact on your life.

Have you known people suffering who won’t get help?

Both disorders frequently will cause their victims not to seek the help they need. They mistakenly believe if they try harder, they can learn to manage its effects, which rarely works.

Knowing this is an emotional and psychological problem they are experiencing, they also erroneously believe there is a stigma from society attached, and it would follow them throughout the rest of their lives. They are so focused on the pain that everything else is black.

I liken it to a person who slams a hammer down on their finger; all that matters now is the pain. I could place a dancing bear before them, and they would not realize it. Why? Because their entire focus is on the pain they are feeling, and nothing else matters.

I’ll close with a YouTube video showing a person’s awareness when focused on a task. You can find it at the following link.

Crime Scene Cleaners, LLC endeavors to bring you relevant information to help you deal with the stresses of life and work. We serve the States of Missouri and Kansas, if there is anything we can help anyone in your community please contact us at 1-800-808-7642 or



By Blog

-By Don M. McNulty

Owning or Managing a Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup (CTS) Company is an exciting line of work; it takes a unique person to work in this industry. However, I’m not sure exciting is the correct word to explain your feelings as you are called to a scene. Perhaps in the beginning — like any other job — the first few could cause excitement, as most would define the word. Still, the word stimulation might fit better as the weeks, months, and years pass.

Almost every traumatic death scene has a mystique because the public doesn’t see these scenes often, nor do they want to. As we approach the job site, the technician’s adrenalin runs high as you speculate about what you’ll see, hear, and touch.

When a position for a new technician becomes available, we will receive inquiries from three different varieties of candidates.

Hazmat Cleaning Crime Scene CleanersThe following might Surprise You.

The first will be the thrill seeker who has a macabre curiosity about the work and the scenes. Once they have fulfilled their curiosity, they’re on to other adventures. But unfortunately, we find their sense of privacy isn’t what it should be as they want to brag about what they’ve seen and done.

Another type of person is a medical worker of sorts. It might be anyone from a nurse, CNA, EMT, or hospital environmental worker. The medical worker may or may not be the correct candidate for the job because we would look for added skill-sets like the following.

The last classification is someone who has construction experience. Again, the skills we’re after do not mean a professional contractor per se, but someone who has a basic knowledge of built structures and the skill-sets of working with the tools a contractor would use.

Since we are working in a biohazard environment with human blood and tissue deposits strewn around a room (s), or some microbial contamination, most people think that medical experience is an essential skill to have. Although your assumption wouldn’t be wrong, medical education and how to keep yourself safe in a biohazard area are the easiest parts to teach. It’s easier because we’re not taking personal care of human beings as they would within the medical setting.

Bio Cleaning Services of America was the first company dedicated to this work in the early days. The owner couldn’t think of an appropriate name, but when the victim’s families regularly called for help, they would say, we need help to clean this up. Thus, the word cleaning stuck in the name of what we do.
There is one last point I want you to consider. I usually ask, why do you want to be a Bio Technician? Quite a few candidates will tell me they want to help people and believe they can do the work because they watch True Crime and various horror movies. But, of course, none of that makes them sick. But they are speaking only to the visual. On a job site, all the senses are active — the emotional, visual, auditory, touch, and smell. So, if potent odors make you feel sick to your stomach, you’re probably the wrong candidate.

Looking at Examples of Our Work

We do indeed clean many items if possible. Still, cleaning is often impossible, so we deconstruct and rebuild those affected areas.

We describe our work as like an onion. We peel back the first layer to see if the damage went further. If it has, we remove the next layer until we find the damage’s end. For example, the damage may cause us to remove flooring and sub-flooring. Likewise, we will remove the ceiling if there is a room with a ceiling below. Next, we examine and determine damage on the floor joists and whether we will have to remove contaminated material from those structures.

Blood moves similarly to water. If there is a large pool of blood, it will often move sideways until it can seep through below, and it only needs a crack the width of a piece of copy paper. For example, the blood may travel under walls to an adjacent room or closet space. In these cases, we are removing sheetrock or plaster wall material. Removing the sill plate may become necessary if it bears contamination. If the contaminate runs under the sill plate area under the standing wall studs, we need to know if that wall is a load-bearing wall. If so, other work must be completed to shore up the load-bearing wall before we remove any load-bearing structure.

Having building construction knowledge lets the technician know how deep they will set the skill saw or how to know if there are electrical wires or plumbing inside a wall cavity near their work area. Those utilities travel differently in a commercial-built building than in a residential structure. So, the hardest part of us to teach would be the construction skills and basic knowledge. Everything else we can teach easily.

Other aspects of the work we teach our technicians.

Most of the regulations guiding our work are from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The three principal regulations are,

  • Bloodborne Pathogen Rule 1910.1030,
  • Respiratory Rule 1910.134,
  • Right to Know Rule for Hazardous Materials 1910.1200.
  • However, several other OSHA regulations guide our work. If you want to look at those, go to the website.
  • Those regulations are,
  • Scaffolds and ladders.
  • Care and Use of Tools,
  • Electrical Safety,
  • Work Surfaces,
  • Fall Protection,
  • Confined Space, and the

Wet Bulb Global Temperature Guideline — for working safely under extreme weather.
Heat exhaustion is a big problem for crime scene bio technicians since they often work in level 3 PPE, which means no exposed skin. I once had a young lady keep asking me to hire her. She had these qualifications. During my interview with her in her office, she mentioned being heat sensitive. I expressed my concern and asked for a favor. She also mentioned she worked out four nights a week. I gave her a bio coverall we wore and asked her to work out in the coverall for 30 minutes. If she could do that, I would hire her. I never heard from her until the day we were called back to the apartment building she managed. She gestured for me to come into her office when she saw me.

I guess you’re wondering why I never called you back.

I replied, no, ma’am, I figured you didn’t pass the endurance test.

She said excitedly; she could only work out for 10 minutes, stopped for the entire evening, and went home.

We also train our technicians in epidemiology — the study of how diseases transfer to humans, how to prevent contamination of the bio technician, and how to prevent cross-contamination to other areas of the structure. Suppose you read other articles on this subject — you may read the other writers calling the technician — a Forensic Technician. A Bio Technician and a Forensic Technician are semantics that carry the same meaning.
The growing knowledge base obtained by the Bio Technician includes Lead Abatement Certification and Asbestos Regulations. Every Bio Technician should have their Lead Abatement Certification, but few Crime Scene Clean Up Companies perform Asbestos Abatement. However, knowing when asbestos may be part of the scene is necessary. A testing company is called to test the structure for asbestos contamination. Indeed, some states require asbestos testing before any work is done.

Now you know why a CTS Bio Technician needs the skill-sets of a construction worker.

Trauma-based work is not all we perform. The other work we do is sewage removal, pigeon contamination, hoarder houses, bat guano, disinfection services, vehicles of every sort, and deodorization — just about any remediation that others will not perform.

Bio-Technicians need the temperament of a social worker or minister when dealing with the family, a high sense of morality, and honesty. Those are the qualities of the person we seek. This work is never “just a job.” Even if the job would start that way in someone’s mind, it soon changes after they understand how their work positively impacts the families and communities we serve.

If you have questions regarding our blog posts, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Also, let us know if you have any
suggestions on what you would like to see discussed in our blog format. Contact me by email at I’ll be
happy to entertain any suggestion.