Fentanyl is deadly and should not be handled by anyone without the proper training. As such, cleanup should never be attempted without the proper know how and equipment. A professional should always be contacted before any attempt to remove fentanyl is made. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is often used to treat patients with severe pain after surgery but it can also be produced in clandestine drug labs. As a nonprescribed medication, it can come in powder or mixed with heroin or cocaine, making it even more of a danger to your health. Cleaning Fentanyl is unlike any other drug cleanup and precautions must be taken to avoid exposure.
Safety is number one. When cleaning up fentanyl, technicians will wear full PPE, plastic gloves and boots taped shut and equipped with Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA) in order to avoid breathing in the contaminated air. When fentanyl is produced synthetically, it often involves the crushing of prescribed pills being mixed with other illegal substances. When the pills are crushed, the residue can get into the air, carpet, air filters, hair, clothing, and furniture, which means all of this must be cleaned.
One of the first steps to fentanyl cleanup is to soak everything in the home in an encapsulating solution. This keeps the fine powder from spreading more when cleaning is attempted. Then everything will need to be vacuumed using a HEPA vacuum. Normal vacuums release dust back into the air as they vacuum. This can be dangerous when dealing with fentanyl and can cause the drug to be inhaled. A HEPA vacuum will not release any particles back into the air, making it the only option for cleaning the drug powder.
In the home, walls, counter tops, floors, and all hard surfaces will need to be wiped down thoroughly. Often times, the powder will affect the air ducts so the HVAC system in the home will need to be fully cleaned and the air filters replaced.
The fine white or green powder is very difficult to remove. Most contents in the home will need to be bagged, removed and vacuumed and disinfected repeatedly and some may be too porous to save. It is important to be as thorough as possible because even the smallest amount of fentanyl can be deadly. Because of this, any items in the home that cannot be fully remediated will need to be disposed of. Those items which cannot be remediated will need to be taken to a biohazardous waste dump.
When dealing with fentanyl, your safety must be put first. Being exposed to even the smallest amount of fentanyl can cause an overdose and can be detrimental to your health. Cleanup should never be attempted without the proper PPE, tools, and know-how, which is why it is a job for the professionals.
Spaulding Decon is a leader in the crime scene cleanup industry and fentanyl falls into their realm of know how. Contact your local franchise for more information on cleaning a home exposed to fentanyl.